Skip to main content

Full text of "Counties of White and Pulaski, Indiana. Historical and biographical"

See other formats


3 3433 08181985 




ni'lQ-S O^. 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2008 with funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 














7& iim h 


THIS volume goes forth to our patrons the result of uiontlis of arduous, un- 
remitting and conscientious labor. None so well know as those who have 
been associated with ns the almost insurmountable difticulties to be met with 
in the preparation of a work of this character. Since tlie inauguration of the 
enterprise, a large force has been employed — both local and others — in gath- 
ering material. During this time, most of the citizens of both counties 
have been called upon to contribute from their recollections, carefully pre- 
served letters, scraps of manuscript, printed fragments, memoranda, etc. 
Public records and semi-official documents have been searched, the news- 
paper tiles of the counties have been overhauled, and former citizens, now 
living out of the counties, have been corresponded with, all for the purpose 
of making the record as complete as could be, and for the verification of the 
information by a conference with many. In gathering from these numerous 
sources, both for the historical and biographical departments, the conflicting 
statements, the discrepancies and the fallible and incomjilete nature of pub- 
lic documents, were almost appalling to our historians and biographers, who 
were expected to weave therefrom with some degree of accuracy, in panoramic 
review, a record of events. Members of the same families disagree as to the 
spelling of the family name, contradict each other's statements as to dates of 
birth, of settlement in the counties, nativity and other matters of fact. In 
this entangled condition, we have given preference to the preponderance of 
authority, and while we acknowledge the existence of errors and our inability 
to furnish a perfect history, we claim to have come up to the standard of our 
promises, and given as complete and accurate a work as the nature of the 
surroundings would permit. Whatever may be the verdict of those who do 
not and will not comprehend the ditflculties to be met with, we feel assured 
that all just and thoughtful people will appreciate our eflTorts, and recognize 
the importance of the undertaking and the great public benefit that has been 
accomplished in preserving the valuable historical matter of the counties and 
biographies of many of their citizens, that perhaps would otherwise have passed 
into oblivion. To those who have given us their support and encourage- 
ment, and they are many, we acknowledge our gratitude, and can assure 
them that as years go b}' the book will grow in value as a repository not 
only of pleasing reading matter, but of treasured information of the past 
that will become a monument more enduring than marble. 

October, 1883. THE PUBLISHERS. 





Act of Formation 15 

Agricultural Society 33 

Alarms, Indian 14 

Assessors 41 

Associate Judges 42 

Auditors 40 

Cession Treaties, Indian 13 

Changes of Boundaries 17 

Circuit Court, Sessions of 19 

Circuit Judges 41 

Clerks 41 

Common Pleas Judges 42 

County Agents 41 

County Commissioners 40 

County Library 26 

County Seat Question 35 

County Seminary 26 

County Statistics, 1880 36 

Court Houses and Jails 24 

Drainage 12 

Educational Statistics 37 

Election Tables 43 

Introductory 11 

Location of County Seat 20 

Medical Society 34 

Mound-Builders, The 12 

Old Settlers' Association 36 

Paupers, County 31 

Politics 42 

Population 36 

Probate Judges 42 

Proceedings of Commissioners 21 

Recapitulation of Taxes, 1882 39 

Recorders 41 

School Examiners 41 

Seminarv Trustees 41 

Sheriffs..' 40 

Soil, The 1-2 

Statistics of Interest 29 

Surveyors 41 

Three Per Cent Commissioners 41 

Treasurers 40 


Additional Volunteers 59 

Aid to Soldiers, The First 55 

Another Company 66 

Bounty and Relief 72 

Bowman's Company 60 

Call to Arms 51 

Company, The First 57 

Continued Efforts at Enlistment .59 

County Conventions 61 

Drafts, The 61-68 

First Sacrifice, The 52 

Flag and Sword Presentation .58 

Fourth of July, 1S62 61 

Fourth of July, 1863 65 

Husband Wanted 62 

Infantry, Twelfth 74 

Infantry, Sixty-third 7o 

Infantry, Ninety-ninth 7o 

Infantry, One Hundred and Sixteenth 75 

Infantry, OnejHundred and Twenty-eighth... 76 

Joy and Sorrow 72 

Loyalty 54 

Mexican War 48 

Militia, County 47 


Military Committees 67 

Number of Men Furnished 69 

Opening Scenes .51 

Patriotism in Monticello ,52 

Presidential Campaign of 1860 49 

Recruits 67 

Regiments, Sketches of 74 

Renewed Eflforts 66 

Roll of Honor 76 

Sanitary Efforts 71 

Subsequent Enlistments 58 

Union Meeting at Norway 53 

War of 1812 48 

War Meetings 56-62 

White County Companies 70 



Union Township , 79 

Banking 95 

Elections, Early 80 

Election of November, 1.836 80 

High School Building 106 

Hydraulic Companies 94 

Industries 89 

Mills 85 

Monticello 86 

Monticello's Incorporation and Town Of- 
ficers 97 

Monticello's Early Schools 103 

' Monticello's First Building 89 

Monticello's First Plat 88 

Monticello Items 96 

Monticello's Later Merchants, etc 92 

Monticello's Present Business Interests... 93 

Mt. Walleston Village 85 

Newspapers, Early 100 

Norway Village 85 

Norwegians, The 83 

Proceedings of Town Board 99 

Prof. G. Bowman's School 105 

Religious Organizations, Early 108 

School Bonds 107 

School Trustees 108 

Secret Societies 102 

Settler, First 83 

Wool Carding 84 


Prairie Township 112 

Birth, First 119 

Bridges 125 

Brookston, Town of. 121 

Churches 120 

Creation of Township 113 

Death, First 119 

Landholders, First 11( 

Marriage, First 119 

Masonic Lodge 119 

Mills, Earlv 129 

Poll Lists, Early 114 

Pioneer Schools 118 

Press, The 126 

Settlement 112 

Springboro Village 119 

Storm of Sleet 125 

Surface Features 125 




Honey Crkkk Township 126 

Birth, First 130 

Churches 133 

Death, First 130 

Elections, First 128 

Mills 129 

Miscellaneous 135 

Newspapers 135 

Officers, First 128 

Railways 130 

Reynolds, Town of 130 

Reynolds, Incorporation of 134 

Schools 133 

Secret Societies 132 

Settlement, First 127 


.Jackson Township 136 

Agricultural Association US 

Anti-Slavery Petition 142 

A Storm 145 

Birth, First 141 

Burnettsville 144 

Churches 151 

Creation of Township 138 

Death, First 141 

Kkctions, First 139 

I'ariiiiiiLtton Seminary 145 

(ianic f 140 

Idaville 146 

Indians 140 

Jurors ^ 141 

Marriage, First 141 

Morality 141 

Mornionisui 143 

Oldest Resident 153 

Post Offices 144 

Schools 141 

Settlement, First 136 

Sharon 145 

Town of Hannah 14R 

Violent Deaths 147 

Vital Statistics 141 


Princeton Township 154 

Ague in 1844 157 

Birth, First 158 

Boundaries of Township 155 

Churches 158 

Creation of Township 155 

Death, First 158 

Elections, Early 156 

Flood of 1844 157 

Justices of the Peace 162 

Marriage, First 158 

Origin of Name 155 

Railroad 159 

Schools 158 

Seafleld Station 159 

Secret Societies 161 

Settlement, First '54 

Tavern, First 159 

Wolcott, Town of. t 159 

Wolcott's Present Business 161 


MoNON Township 163 

Birth, First 170 

Dead Town, A 166 

Death, First 170 

Early Comers 164 

Elections, Early 163 

Indian Mounds 109 

Indian Scare 165 

Mills, Early 171 

Miscellaneous Items 176 

New Bradford, Town of. 173 

Pioneer Life 169 

Post Offices 172 

Religious Organizations 175 

Schools and Teachers 174 

Secret Society 176 

Settlement 164 

Suicides, etc 175 

Wedding, First 170 



Big Ckbek Town.ship 178 

Ague 183 

Birth, First 183 

Black Hawk War 182 

Chalmers Village 188 

Deer and Wolf Hunt of 1840 187 

Death, First 183 

Early Difficulties 183 

Elections, Early 180 

Hotel, First 183 

Indians 182 

Internal Improvements 184 

Land Pantries 181 

Marriage, First 183 

Preachers, Early 184 

Schools 184 

Settlers, First 178 

Spencer House 181 

Wheeler Station 184 


Liberty Township 189 

Churches 194 

Creation of Township 192 

Death, First 193 

Elections, First 192 

Land Entries, First 190 

f Marriage, First...... 193 

Miscellaneous 196 

Pioneer Homes 191 

Post Offices ., 195 

Schools, Early 193 

Tax Payers of 1843 190 


West Point Township 196 

Birth, First 200 

Death, First 200 

Election, First 199 

Formation of Township 198 

Forney Post Office 201 

Land Entries, Fir,';! 199 

Marriage, First 200 

Meadow Lake Farm 201 

Ministers and Churches 200 

School Interests 199 


Cass Township 202 

Birth, First 205 

Church Interests 208 

Creation of Township 205 

Drainage 208 

Educational Growth 206 

Election, Early 207 

Marriage, First 205 

Pioneer Life 202 

Post Office 208 

Preacher, First 208 

Tax Payers of 1851 207 


Round Grove Township 209 

Births, First 212 

Church 212 

Creation of Township 210 

Death, First 212 

Elections, First 211 

Land Entries 211 

Marriage, First 212 

Origin of Name 210 

Post Offices 212 

Schools 212 

Settlement, First 210 

Then and Now 213 


Big Creek Township 374 

I Cass Township 423 

I Honey Creek Township 2S1 

I Jackson Township 304 

Liberty Township 397 

Monticello, City of.. 
Monon Township. 



Prairie Township 260 

Princeton Township 338 

Round Grove Township 426 

Union Township 250 

West Point Township 407 


Burns, Jolm and wife 63 

French, Chester C 267 

High, Jonathan 384 

Love, J. M 329 

McAllister, .J ; 401 

Price, Asenath 98 

Price, Peter : 82 

Spencer, George Armstrong 185 

Spencer, Thomas 257 


Sfcine, H. S 311 

Timmons, John G. and wife 347 

Turpie, Mrs. Emma J 239 

Turpie, J. H 222 

Turpie, Mrs. Mary F 212 

Turpie, William 294 

Virden, Samuel 293 


Elevator of J. & W. W. Eaub 365 

Farm Residence of J. P. Carr 115 

Presbyterian Church of Monticello 45 

Farm Residence of John F. Price 419 

Public School Building of Monticello 27 

Farm Residence of H. M. Wheeler 149 

Farm Residence of G. W. Wolverton 167 



Abstract of Property and Taxes, 1881 468 

Agents, County » 473^ 

Agricultural Society 465 

Assessors 473 

Associate Judges , 474 

Auditors 472 

Board of Commissioners 455 

Buildings, County..... 460 

Circuit Court 457 

Circuit Judges 473 

Clerks 472 

Commissioners 472 

Common Pleas Judges 474 

Coroners 473 

County Before Organization 451 

Creation of County 450 

Drainage 447 

Drift, The 445 1 

Election, First 452 I 

Election Tables 475 

Indians, The 449 

Jail 462 

Land Offices 462 | 

Library 462 ! 

Medical Society 464 ; 

Miscellaneous Items 456 \ 

Old Settlers' Association 469 

Orders, County 459 

Organization of County 450 j 

Petroleum Company 465 

Politics 474 j 

Poor, County 463 

Probate Judges 474 [ 

Railroads 465 ! 

Recorders 472 j 

Representatives 473 1 

Roads, County and State 458 j 

School Examiners 473 

Seminary, County 462 

.Sheriffs 472 [ 

Soil, The 446 

Squatters, The 456 

StateSenators 473 

Statistics 467 I 

Surveyors 473 j 

Tableof Land Entries 457 

Three Per Cent Commissioners 473 

Townships 464 ! 

Treasurers 472 ' 

Treasury Statement 469 

CHAPTER 11. ( 

An Incident 497 

Bounty 493 

Calls for Troops 497 

Disloyalty 490 

Draft, The 491-494 

Enlistment, Continued 493 

Excitement at Winamac 485 

Fall of Sumter 484 

First Company 486 

Infantry, Ninth 498 

Infantry, Twentieth 498 

Infantry, Forty-sixth 499 

Infantry, Eighty-seventh 500 

Mexican War 482 

Old Militia System 481 

Rebellion, The 484 

Roll of Honor 501 

Sketches of Regiments 498 

Suppression of the Democrat 492 

Tableof Regiments 496 

Three Months' Men 486 



Monroe Township 504 

Additions to Winamac 521 

Banking 520 

Bridges 519 

Business Blocks 521 

Business, Present 516 

Churches 533 

Early Events 515 

Elections...: 510 

Ferries 519 

Incorporation 522 

Industrial Growth 514 

Later Progress 509 

Manufactures 517 

Merchandising 515 

Postmasters 520 

Professions 519 

Schools 5.32 

Secret Societies 528 

Settler, First -507 

Settlement 504 

Subsequent Improvement 508 


Salem Township 535 

Agricultural Society 545 

Business, Present 541 

College, The 540 

Creamery 545 

Drainage 545 

Elections, Early 538 

Fatalities 542 

Francesville 541 

Game 547 

Geological Characteristics 536 

Hay 547 

Land Entries 538 

Marriage, First 539 

Militia 545 

Newspapers 542 

Organization 535 

Religion 543 

Schools 539 

Secret Societies 544 

Settlement 537 




Harrison Township 5-18 

Accidental Death 555 

Bridge 553 

Church :... 552 

Creation of Township 548 

Deceased Pioneers 550 

Elections, Early 549 

Incidents 551 

Mooresburg 555 

Mooresburg Mill 553 

Notes and Incidents 555 

Origin of Name 548 

Politics 557 

Roads 554 

Saw Mill 554 

Schools 553 

Settlement, First 549 

Spring Election, 1882 556 

Wey'B Mill 554 


Indian Creek Township 557 

Birth and Death 563 

Bridges 569 

Churches, > 566 

Education 565 

Incidents 559 

Marriage, First 563 

Mill, First 562 

Miscellaneous 569 

Mound-Builders 560 

Pearl Divers 567 

Physical Features 561 

Pulaski Grist Mill 563 

Pulaski Village 564 

Settlement 559 

Settler, First 557 

Voters, Early .557 


White Post Township 571 

Affrays 584 

Birth, First 578 

Churches 582 

Death, First 578 

Directory of MedarysTille 586 

Drainage 579 

Elections, Early 573 

Incidents 577 

Marriage, First 578 

Medarysville 581 

Miscellaneous Notes 586 

Mystery, A 580 

Newspapers 584 

Origin of Name i 571 

Physical Description 574 

Post Office 578 

Schools 579 

Settlement 573 


Van Buben Township 587 

Churches 596 

Detectives 594 

Election, First 588 

Elections, Subsequent 588 

Hardships 591 

Hunters 590 

Land Entries '. 588 

Rosedale Village 595 

Schools 595 

Settler, First 587 

Star City 592 

Statistical 592 


Tippecanoe Town.ship S'.tK 

Boundaries, First ."I'JS 

Bridges i i;u3 

Cholera r.02 

Death, First 601 

Elections, Early 6(h» 

Incidents, Early 602 

Inn, First 002 

Landholders, Early 599 

Marriage, First 001 


Monterey Village 
Origin of N ame 
Pioneers Living 


Settlement. . 59S 


Cass Township 608 

Belfast 613 

Churches 614 

Drainage 612 

Early Occurrences 611 

Elections 608 

Fatal Accident 615 

Post Office 614 

Products 612 

Schools 614 

Settlers, First 611 

Trustees, First 614 

Wild Game 612 


Rich Grove Township 016 

Churches 620 

"Cranberry" Township 621 

Creation of Township 610 

Death, First 621 

Elections, Early 61G 

Gundrum Station 621 

Justices'of the Peace 620 

Land Entries 617 

Marriage, First 621 

Mills, etc 618 

Origin of Name 617 

Property Protection 621 

Road 620 

Schools 619 

Settlements 618 

Trustees 620 


.Tefferson Township 622 

Accident, An 624 

Birth, First 624 

Churches 625 

Creation of Town.ship 622 

Death, First 624 

Early Experiences 629 

Land Entries 626 

Liquor License 624 

Marriage, First .• 624 

Mastodon, Remains of a 630 

Mills 626 

Origin of Name 622 

Schools 630 

Settlement 623 

Violent Death 630 


Beaver Township 631 

Birth, First 635 

Churches 635 

Death, First 63.T 

Early Customs 633 

Early Events 635 

Elections 631 

Land Entries 632 

Marriage, First 635 

Origin of Name 631 

Schools 634 

Settlers 632 


Kranklin Township 636 

Civility 040 

Drainage 640 

Educational Interests 641 

Elections 638 

Jacobs House 639 

Land Entries 630 

Origin of Name 630 

Railroad 640 

Settlement 637 

Sunday School 640 




Beaver Township 768 

Cass Township 764 

Franklin Township 770 

Harrison Township 694 

Indian Creek Township 702 

Jetferson Township 767 

Monroe Township 671 

Rich Grove Township 765 

Salem Township 674 

Tippecanoe Township 749 

Van Bureu Township 733 

White Post Township 725 

Winamac, City of 643 



Barnett, William C . 646 

Brown, Ira .' 454 

Brown, Mrs. Sophia 487 

Dilts, M. A 609 

Holsinger, John 5 627 

Huddleston, W. S 575 

Thompson, W. H 524 

Thompson, G. W 525 

John R. Conner 542 

JohnShill ; 558 

Keller, Bouslog & Co.'s Business House 505 





The Surface and Soil — Drainage — Prehistoric Inhabitants — 
The Indians — Cession Treaties — Public Land Sales — Creation 
OF White County — Its Organization — Subsequent Boundary 
Alterations — The Early Courts — Acts of the Commissioners 
— Financial Management — County Buildings — Societies and 
Associations — Industrial Statistics — List of Public Officers 
— Politics — Miscellaneous Notes of Interest. 

«« We have no title deeds to house or lands; 

Owners and occupants of earlier dates, 
From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands, 
And hold in mortmain still their old estates." 

IF the Drift Deposits which cover all White County to the depth of 
many feet were cut through, the Niagara limestones of the Upper 
Silurian Period would be disclosed. The time is coming in the future 
when this vast storehouse of excellent stone will be quarried as coal is 
now quarried in many parts of the earth where the surface is compara- 
tively level. After these beds of stone had been deposited (so the geolog- 
ical story runs) there came a time called Glacial when all this latitude, 
and northward, was locked up in vast mountains of ice. Huge glaciers 
pushed their way southward in obedience to controlling laws, grinding 
clown the elevations of earth and transporting the soil to latitudes far- 
ther south. After this came icebergs, the successors of the glaciers, 
which continued the process of conveying the soil southAvard. All of 
White County is covered with this foreign soil, often to several hundred 
feet in depth, which has come here from British America. As it was 
deposited here long before any human beings inhabited, the earth, it may 



be considered as having merited the title of " Old Settler." All are fa- 
miliar with the characteristics of these deposits, usually called "The 
Drift." They vary all the way from alluvium (fine inorganic material 
and vegetable mold mingled) to huge bowlders, which may be seen scat- 
tered all over the surface of the county, and found as far down as the 
Drift extends. 

The Soil. — The soil of the county gives rich promises of great future 
wealth. There is a large percentage of low or level land, much of which 
is yet too wet for cultivation, but which, some day, when suitable drain- 
age is furnished, will be like a garden. Many of these tracts of land are 
underlaid with extensive beds of bog iron ore, occasionally in such abun- 
dance as to give promise of future utility when profitable means of work- 
ing them are devised. Some portions of the soil are quite sterile, owing^ 
to a superabundance of sand or clay. Tracts of rich and beautiful prai- 
rie land are found in various portions. Clusters of low oaks occur on the 
sandier tracts, far out from the larger water-courses. Heavy timber is 
found on Tippecanoe River and at other places. High bluifs along the 
river afford fine views of extensive and beautiful tracts of country. 

Drainage. — Within the past fifteen years not less than $200,000 has 
been expended in constructing open ditches. Many miles of tiling have 
been laid during the same period. Perhaps over |100,000 has been ex- 
pended in drainage during this period. Comparatively little was done in 
this direction until fifteen years ago, and the greater portion of what has 
been accomplished has been done within the last six years. Twenty years 
hence the surface will be well drained, and splendid crops will be raised 
where now the song of the batrachian resounds. This work must neces- 
sarily go on comparatively slow, as the public funds will admit. 

The Mound Builders. — Prior to the period from 1838 to 1842 the 
territory now comprising the county of White with all the adjacent lands 
was the home of the Indian tribes. Here they had lived back as far as 
the knowledge of the Caucasian race extends, and much farther back as 
is proved by Indian tradition. If they were the descendants of that ex- 
tinct race of people called " Mound Builders," who inhabited all this sec- 
tion of country at an earlier date, it may be stated on the best of au- 
thority that the Indians had occupied this land long before the Christian 
era. Perhaps a majority of authorities on the subject deny the kinship 
of the Indians and the Mound Builders, and allege that the latter were 
a distinct race of human beings of whom the former knew nothing save 
what was derived from their crumbling bones and habitations. All agree, 
however, as to the antiquity of the earlier race. Some writers place 
them back as co-existent with the old Babylonian and Assyrian nations. 
Others still make them relatives of the Aztecs or Peruvians who occupied 


the torrid region of the Western Continent when Columbus resolutely di- 
rected the prow of his little vessel westward across the Atlantic. The 
truth can never be known. They had no historians ; they were bar- 
barians. They had never experienced the pleasure of being " written 
up," and had never been asked to put their names down for a copy of the 
county history. Consequently their history remains a mystery more pro- 
found than that of Eleusis. It remains for the civilized to appreciate the 
value which history aifords to the human race. 

There have been discovered within the limits of White County, usually 
on high lands contiguous to some stream, about fifteen mounds, con- 
structed in all probability by the Mound Builders, thousands of years 
ago. As these are described in township chapters, nothing further will be 
added here, except a few general statements. The mounds found in this 
section of the State are usually sepulchral, sacrificial or memorial. The 
first contain the decaying bones of the dead ; the second contain ashes, 
charcoal and the charred bones of animals and even human beings who 
were immolated to secure the favor of the Being worshipped ; the third 
were erected to commemorate some great national event. All three kinds 
are found in the county, the first mentioned being most numerous. 

Indian Cession Treaties. — How the Indians came here, succeeding 
as they did the earlier race, is not known, and probably never will be. 
They were here when the whites first came. The Pottawatomies were 
found in possession of the soil, though the Miamis claimed some rights of 
occupancy. On the 2d of October, 1818, at a treaty concluded at St, 
Mary's with the Pottawatomies, the following tract of country was ceded 
to the Government : 

Beginning at the mouth of the Tippecanoe River and running up the same to a point 
twenty-five miles in a direct line from the Wabash River, thence on a line as nearly par- 
allel to the general course of the Wabash River as practicable to a point on the Vermil- 
lion River twenty-five miles from the Wabash River, thence down the Vermillion River 
to its mouth, and thence up the Wabash River to the place of beginning. 

On the 16th of October, 1826, they also ceded the following tract of 

Beginning on the Tippecanoe River where the northern boundary of the tract ceded by 
the Pottawatomies to the United States at the treaty of St. Mary's in the year 1818 in- 
tersects the same, thence in a direct line to a point on Eel River, half way between the 
mouth of said river and Parrish's Village, thence up Eel River to Seek's Village (now in 
Whitley ("ounty ) near the head thereof, thence in a direct line to the mouth of a creek emp- 
tying into the St. Joseph's of the Miami (Maumee) near Metea's Village, thence up the 
St. Joseph's to the boundary line between the Ohio and Indiana, thence south to the 
Miami (Maumee), thence up the same to the reservation at Ft. Wayne, thence with the 
lines of the said reservation to the boundary established by the treaty with the Miamis 
in 1818, thence with the said line to the Wabash River, thence with the same river to the 
mouth of the Tippecanoe River, and thence with the Tippecanoe River to the place of 


The following letter explains itself: 

Department of the Interior, "| 

General Land Office, j- 

Washington, D. C, December 9, 1882. j 
W. A. GooDSPEED, Esq., Winamac, Indinna. 

Sir: — Iq reply to your letter of the 27th of October last, setting forth that you want the 
following information for historical purposes, to wit : " When and where were the gov- 
ernment sales of land in White and Pulaski Counties, Indiana V I have to state that 
Townships 25 and 26 north. Ranges 3, 4, 5 and 6 west (White County) were offered at 
Crawfordsville, Indiana, November, 1829, June, 1830, and October, 1832. Townships 
27 and :^8 north, Eanges 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 west, in White County, were offered at Winamac,* 
Indiana. November, 1830, March, 1832, and March, 1839. The land in Pulaski County 
wasofl'ered at Winamac, Indiana, in September, 1838, March, 1839, and March, 1841. 

Very respectfully, 

M. McFarland, Commissioner. 

Indian Alarms. — Immediately after the first sale of the lands of what 
afterward became White County, and even before, the settlers began to 
flock in and select new homes. In 1832, the year of the Black Hawk 
war, probably twenty families were living in the county. From time to 
time reports came in from the west of the Indian massacres but a com- 
paratively short distance away, and a general feeling of alarm settled down 
upon the pioneers on the outskirts of the thickly settled sections. The 
savages might at any moment penetrate a little farther east and fall upon 
the settlers with fire, and tomahawk and scalping-knife. About the 1st 
of June the alarm became so intense and universal that many of the fam- 
ilies living in White County packed their household goods in wagons and 
fled to the older settlements on the south side of the Wabash, driving 
their live stock with them. Some persons set fire to the grass on the 
Grand Prairie, and the lurid glare of the flames reflected on the sky filled 
the breasts of the settlers for many miles around with fearful forebodings. 
Many thought the savages had come. Companies of militia were formed 
in the older localities to protect the families that assembled. Notwith- 
standing the reports there were a number of families in White County 
which had the hardihood to remain on their farms, though in most cases 
care was taken to prevent being surprised by savages on the war path. 
They were aware that but little danger was to be apprehended, as the 
scene of the Indian outbreak was too far away to affect the inhabitants of 
White County. The majority, however, were greatly scared, and fled as 
stated. A small company of about twenty men was formed at Delphi 
under the command of Captain Andrew Wood. The men, well armed and 
provisioned, passed out on the Grand Prairie and then up the Tippecanoe 
River through White County going as far up as the house of Melchi Gray 

*As there was no such place as Winamac until 1838, and as the Land Office was not located there 
until 1 839 the Commissioner is doubtless mistaken as to the place where the land was offered. The 
jales took place at LaPorte until the office was established at Winamac. 


near the mouth of the Monon, keeping a careful lookout for signs of 
Indians. Many houses were found deserted, everything indicating a hur- 
ried departure of the owners. Others were strongly barricaded, while the 
occupants within were prepared to repel assaults from a savage foe. A 
few families went about their daily tasks as usual. The company saw 
nothing whatever of hostile Indians, and soon returned to Delphi. In a 
little while the feeling of alarm disappeared and the families returned to 
their houses. 

Mrs. Peter Price, then living on the old homestead a short distance 
west of what afterward became Monticello, relates that her family were 
unconscious of any circulating reports of danger from the Indians until 
early one morning in June, 1832, before the members of the family had 
arisen, when they were aroused from their slumbers by a loud shout from 
George A. Spencer who had ridden rapidly up on a horse and had 
stopped before the door of their log cabin. The first intelligible words 
that fell upon the ears of the startled family were " Halloo, Peter, get up ! 

the d d Injins are coming, and are killing everybody !" It took that 

family about one minute to get into their clothes, and surround the mes- 
senger with anxious questions. It was decided to leave immediately, 
and hurried preparations were made to take the most valuable ar- 
ticles, and leave the remainder, as it was thought, to the torch of 
the savages. Mrs. Price and her children were taken to the house 
of some friend below Delphi, while Mr. Price returned to near the 
mouth of Spring Creek, Prairie Township, where some twelve or fifteen 
families had collected and had made rather formidable preparations to re- 
ceive the enemy. It is stated that a watch was kept, and every gun was 
loaded and in its place. It is also stated that a sort of block-house was 
erected, but this is probably a mistake. A few days dispelled the illu- 
sion, and the families returned to their homes. Some thought the dan- 
ger was to come from the Pottawatomies, while others better informed 
feared the Sacs and Foxes from the Mississippi River. As a matter of 
fact the Pottawatomies were about as much frightened as the whites, and 
all went to the Indian agent for advice and protection. They thought 
the whites were going to attack them for some reason they could not 
fully surmise. They and the whites had a good laugh together afterward 
over the "heap big scare." 

In 1833 many settlers located in the county — so many, in fact, that the 
representatives in the Legislature were asked to have a new county cre- 
ated and organized. Accordingly, during the session of 1833-4, the fol- 
lowing enactment was passed and approved : 

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana, that from and after the 
first day of April next, all that tract of country included in the following boundary lines 


shall form and constitute a new county to be known and designated by the name of the 
county of White (in honor of Major Isaac White, who fell at the battle of Tippecanoe) to 
wit, beginning at the northwest corner of Tippecanoe County, thence running east with 
the north line of Tippecanoe County to the southwest corner of Carroll County, thence 
north with the west line of Carroll County to the northwest corner of the same, thence 
east with the north line of Carroll County to the west line of Cass County, thence north 
with the west line of Cass County to the northwest corner of the same, thence west to the 
center section line of range six west, thence south to the northwest corner of Tippecanoe 
County to the place of beginning. 

Sec. 2. That the new county of White shall, from and after the first day of April next, 
enjoy and possess all the rights, privileges, benefits and jurisdictions which to separate 
and independent counties do or may properly belong or appertain. 

Sec. 3. That James H. Stewart, of Carroll County, John Killgore, of Tippecanoe 
County, Fnos Lowe, of Parke County, and John B. King, be, and they are hereby ap- 
pointed Commissioners, agreeable to an act entitled " An act fixing the seats of justice 
in all new counties hereafter to be laid olf." The Commissioners aforesaid shall meet 
on the first Monday in September next at the house of George A. Spencer, in the 
said county o. White, and shall proceed immediately to perform the duties required of 
them by law; and it shall be the duty of the Sheriff of Tippecanoe County to notify 
said Commissioners, either in person or by writing, of their appointment, on or before 
the first day of August next, and for such service he shall receive such compensation as 
the Board doing county business in said county of White may, when organized, deem 
just and reasonable, to be allowed and paid as other county claims. 

Sei'. 4. The Circuit Court and the Board of County Commissioners, when elected under 
the writ of election from the executive department, shall hold their sessions as near the 
center of the county as a convenient place can be had, until the public buildings shall be 

Sec. 5. The agent who shall be appointed to superintend the sale of lots of the 
county seat of said county of White shall reserve ten per cent, out of the proceeds 
thereof, and pay the same over to such person or persons as may be appointed by 
law to receive the same for the use of a county library. 

Sec. 6. The county of White shall be attached to the first judicial circuit of this 
State for judicial, and to the county of Carroll for representative, purposes. 

Sec. 7. That all the territory lying west of the county of White to the State line, be, 
and the same is, hereby attached to the county of White for civil and judicial purposes. 

Sec. 8. That the Circuit Courts shall be held in the county of White on the Tuesdays 
succeeding the week of the Tippecanoe Circuit Court, and sit three days each term, 
should the business require it. 

Sec. 9. The Board doing county business may, as soon as elected and qualified, hold 
special sessions not exceeding three, during the first year after the organization of said 
county, and shall make all necessary appointments, and do or perform all other busi- 
ness which may or might have been necessary to be iierformed at any other regular 
session, and take all necessary steps to collect the Slate and county revenue, any law or 
to the contrary notwithstanding. This act to be in force from and after its 

Approved February 1, 1834. 

A little later the following was enacted : 

That all the territory lying north of the county of Cass to the line dividing Town- 
ships 32 and 33 north, be, and the same is hereby, attached to said county for judicial 
and representative purposes, and that all the territory lying north of the county of 


White and of the territory attached thereto to the aforesaid line be, and the same is 
hereby, attached to the county of White for the same purpose. This act to be in force 
from and afterits publication in the Indiansi Journal, printed at Indianapolis. 

Approved December 24, 1834. 

So far as can be learned no changes were made in the boundaries of 
White County until the following law was passed : 

That the following described territory be, and the same is hereby, taken from the 
county of Carroll and incorporated and made a part of White : all north of Section 33 
and west of the Tippecanoe River in Township 26 north, Range 3 west. This act to take 
efl'ect and be in force from and after its passage. 

Approved February 4, 1837. 

Again a little later the following became law : 

That hereafter the Tippecanoe River shall be the western boundary of Carroll County, 
from where the north line of said county strikes the river, until said river strikes the 
section line dividing thirty-three and twenty-eight, in Township twenty-six, and all the 
territory west of said river and north of said line in Township twenty-six, and Range 
three west, is hereby attached to the county of White, as intended by the act, entitled 
"An act to alter the boundary line between Carroll and White," approved February 4, 
lt<37. This act to be in force from and after its passage. 

Approved February 14, 1839. 

The large section of country north and west now constituting the 
counties of Jasper, Newton and portions of Benton and Pulaski, which 
was attached to White County by legislative enactment, remained so 
until it was organized into separate counties — Pulaski in 1839, Jasper 
in 1837, Newton in 1839 and Benton in 1840. 

Some time during the summer of 1884 an election of two x^ssociate 
Judges, three County Commissioners, one Clerk of the Circuit Court and 
perhaps other county officers, was held in White County with the follow- 
ing result : Associate Judges — James Barnes and Thomas Wilson. 
Commissioners — David McCombs, Ira Bacon and Robert Newell. 
Clerk — William Sill. The returns of this election are probably 
in the vault of the clerk's office at Monticello, but as no due effort was 
made by the proper officers to search for such papers, although requested 
so to do, and as the historian was not permitted to make such search, the 
records remain, very probably, in a corner covered with dust and rub- 
bish. No apology is necessary under the circumstances. 

White County had a political existence before its organization, of which 
nothing is knoAvn to the citizens. All the territory now comprising the 
county, besides much more north and west, was attached to the county 
of Carroll by legislative enactment, at the time the latter was created. 
On the 11th of May, 1831, the Commissioners of Carroll County ordered 
that all the territory attached to the county, or a part of the county, 


west of the Tippecanoe River should thereafter be Prairie Township ; 
and an election was ordered held on the first Monday of the following 
August for the election of one Justice of the Peace, the vote to be polled 
at the house of Jesse Watson, who was appointed Inspector. At this 
election the following men voted : J. L. Watson, Jesse Johnson, Samuel 
Smelcer, Michael Ault, Jeremiah Bisher, W. H. McCuUoch, Aaron Cox, 
Royal Hazleton, Ed. McCarty, Charles Wright, William Phillips, R. 
Harrison, Robert A. Barr, William Woods, Ashford Parker — total, 15. 
The entire vote was cast for Noah Noble for Governor. For Justice of 
the Peace Royal Hazleton received 9 votes, and Jesse Johnson 4. In 
May, 1832, the elections were changed to the house of Samuel Alkire 
and Jesse L. Watson continued Inspector. At the April election in 
1832, only six votes were polled, as follows : J. L. Watson, Jesse John- 
son, William Phillips, Charles Wright, Edney Wright, J. G. Alkire. 
Charles Wright was elected Constable ; Jesse Johnson and Robert Newell, 
Road Supervisors ; William Phillips and William Woods, Overseers of 
the Poor ; Samuel Smelcer and Samuel Alkire, Fence Viewers. These 
were undoubtedly the first ofiicers of the kind elected in White County. 
In September, 1832, all of White County east of the Tippecanoe River 
was formally attached to Adams Township, Carroll County. 

At the August election in Prairie Township in 1832, twenty votes 
were polled, and in November, at the presidential election the following 
men voted : J. L. Watson, Benjamin Reynolds, George McCulloch, 
Joseph A. Thompson, John Barr, John Roberts, John Reese, Royal 
Hazleton, Robert Barr, George Bartley, William Phillips, John Roth- 
rock, L. Willis, Robert Newell, John Hornbeck, William Woods, Samuel 
Alkire, Melchi Gray, eTacob Young, Christian Shuck, Jeremiah Bisher, 
Jesse Johnson and Edney Wright — total, 23. Eighteen votes were cast 
for the Whig electors and five for the Democratic. 

At the March session of the Court of Commissioners of Carroll County, 
all of Prairie Township (which then included all of the present White 
County west of the Tippecanoe River) north of the line dividing Town- 
ships 25 and 26 north was constituted Norway Township, and the elec- 
tions were ordered held at the Norway mill. A Justice of the Peace was 
ordered elected the first Monday in March, 1833, Henry Baum, In- 
spector. This election was not held until April, 1833. The voters 
were John Rothrock, Benj. Reynolds, Joseph Lewis, Jesse Johnson, 
Sibley Hudson, John Burns, Henry Baum, Daniel Wolf, Jeremiah Bish- 
er, James Barnes, George Bartley, Robert Rothrock, George Kemp, 
Ashford Parker, Ira Bacon, George A. Spencer and Thomas Emerson. 
The vote was — for Justice of the Peace : G. A. Spencer, 11, Robert New- 
ell, 3, Melchi Gray, 1; Constable — James Barnes, 12, Benj. Reynolds, 5 ; 


Overseers of the Poor — Armstrong Buchanan, 14, John Reese, 9; Fence 
Viewers — B. N. Spencer, 11, Jeremiah Bisher, 5, Andrew Ferguson, 9, 
John Burns, 3 ; Road Supervisor — John Roberts, 14. 

In May the name Norway was discarded and Big Creek was adopted, 
and the August election was ordered held at the house of Benj. N^ 
Spencer. On this occasion 26 votes were polled as follows : Peter 
Price, James Signers, Samuel Gray, George Bartley, Cornelius Clark, 
George Gates, John Roberts, Phillip Davis, Elias Louther, B. N. 
Spencer, Benj. Reynolds, John Rothrock, Melchi Gray, Joseph Roth- 
rock, G. A. Spencer, James Johnson, Robert Newell, Henry Baum, 
Royal Hazleton, Jeremiah Bisher, James Barnes, Ira Bacon, James 
Clark, John Reese, George Kemp and Andrew Ferguson. 

In September, 1S33, Big Creek was divided as follows : All of 
White County west of Tippecanoe River and north of the line dividing 
Townships 26 and 27 north was constituted Union Township, and 
elections were ordered held at the house of Melchi Gray. About 
this time John Barr was made agent to expend the three per cent, 
fund belonging to White County. No other changes were made in the 
county until the organization in 1834. 

The Circuit Court. — The first session of the Circuit Court of White 
County was held at the house of George A. Spencer on the 17th of Octo- 
ber, 1834. The President Judge, John R. Porter, not being present, the 
court was conducted by James Barnes and Thomas Wilson, Associate 
Judges. William Sill, father of Milton M. Sill, of Monticello, was pres- 
ent, serving as Clerk, and John Wilson, as Sheriff". The Grand Jury 
were Royal Hazleton (Foreman), William Woods, James Johnson, 
Samuel Gray, Robert Barr, Aaron Hicks, Daniel Dale, Robert Hanners, 
John Roberts, John Ferguson, James Parker, Joseph James, Sr., Corne- 
lius Sutton, William Kerr and Joseph Thompson. An indictment was 
returned against Jeremiah Bisher for malicious mischief, and the court 
ordered the defendant to enter his recognizance for the next term of 
court, with security at $50. As the story goes, Mr. Bisher had tied 
some object to the tail of one of his neighbor's troublesome horses, and 
the animal in its fright had injured itself. This was the only indict- 
ment returned. The attorneys "sworn in" at this session of the court 
were William P. Bryant, Andrew Ingraham, Aaron Finch and William 
M. Jenners. The court then adjourned. 

The second session was held in the same house, beginning April 17, 
1835, with the President Judge, and both Associate Judges present. The 
Grand Jury were Benjamin Reynolds (Foreman), Ashford Parker, David 
Burkies, Elias Louther, Jonathan Harbolt, William Walters, Rowland 
Harris, William Phillips, Mathew Terwillager, James Kent, Phillip Da- 


vis, Armstrong Buchanan and Robert Newell. William Sill, Clerk, 
John Wilson, Sheriff, and George A. Spencer, Bailiff. Bisher's case 
came up, whereupon he pleaded guilty, and was fined five dollars, and sen- 
tenced to commitment in the custody of the Sheriff for space of one minute, 
the fine to go to the funds of the county Seminary, The Grand Jury re- 
turned the following indictments : Against Jacob Gates for retailing liquor 
without a license ; against Joseph Gates for firing prairie ; against Royal 
Hazleton for marking hogs ; against Jeremiah Bisher for trespass to land ; 
against William Keen for selling liquor to Indians ; against John Beaver 
and Luke Beaver for an affray ; against William Farmer for selling clocks 
without a license, and against D. Runion and S. Pharris, same as last. 
In the case of Joseph Gates the indictment was quashed. Royal Hazle- 
ton was found " not guilty " by the following jury : Joseph Sayre, Jacob 
Crooks, John Price, Henry Smelcer, Oliver Hammond, Jacob Keplinger, 
Thomas Kelley, Henry Baum, Robert A. Spencer, Joseph James, Joseph 
Dale and Elisha Bowls. Mr. Bisher was fined $1.12J; Mr. Keen plead- 
ed guilty and was fined five dollars and costs ; the Beavers were found 
" not guilty " by a jury, and William Farmer pleaded guilty and was fined 
two dollars and costs. 

The early law practitioners atMonticello were Wm. M. Jenners, Wm. P. 
Bryant, Andrew Ingraham, Aaron Finch, Rufus A. Lockwood and John 
Pettit, in 1834 ; John W. Wright, 1835 ; Zebulon Baird, 1836 ; William 
Wright, 1837 ; T. M. Thompson, 1838 ; Hiram Allen, 1838 ; Daniel D. 
Pratt, 1839; D. Mace, 1840 ; W. Z. Stewart, 1840 ; L. S. Dale, 1841 ; 
G. S. Orth, 1842 ; Robert Jones, Jr., 1843 ; Samuel A. Half, 1843 ; 
David M. Dunn, 1843 ; J. F. Dodds, 1843 ; William Potter, 1847 ; A. 
M. Crane, 1847 ; J. C. Applegate, 1848 ; Elijah Odell, 1848 ; A. L. 
Pierce, 1848 ; David Turpie, 1849 ; Robert H. Milroy, 1849 ; T. 0. Rey- 
burn, 1849 ; Hiram W. Chase, 1850 ; Abraham Timmons, 1851. 

In September, 1834, the Commissioners appointed by the Legislature to 
locate the county seat made the following report : 

To THE Honorable the Cojoiissioners of the Cointy of White : 

The uudersigned, Commissioners appointed by the Legislature of the State of Indiana 
to locate the county seat of said county, beg leave to report that they, agreeable to the 
provisions of the act for the formation of said county, met on the tirst Monday of Sep- 
tember, 1834, and after being qualified according to law, they proceeded immediately to 
the performance of the duties assigned them. They took considerable pains to become 
acquainted vi^ith the situation of your county, and with that view made a personal exam- 
ination of the greater portion of said county. The Commissioners have had considerable 
difficulty in making up their minds as to the best location to fix the seat of justice, and 
at last came to the conclusion to locate the seat of justice on the center line dividing the 
foUovi^ing described fractions, viz.: The southwest fraction of the northwest quarter and 
the northwest fraction of the southeast quarter of Section 33, Township 27 north, Range 


3 west, on a bluff of Tippecanoe River. Eighty acres of the above described fractions 
have been donated for the use of the county of White by Messrs. John Bai r, Sr., H. E. 
Hiorth and John Rothrock, to be taken off the east side of said fraction by north and 
south line. A bond for the conveyance of the same is herewith submitted. Also 11 10 
was donated to the county of White by different individuals whose notes for the same, 
payable to the County Commissioners, are also herewith submitted. The name we have 
selected for the said county seat is MONTICELLO, after the home of the great disciple 
of human liberty, Thomas -Jefferson. 

In conclusion, gentlemen, permit us to indulge the hope that all local dissensions will 
vanish amongst you, and that the citizens of White will go together as one man for the 
improvement of your county and county seat. We are, gentlemen, very respect. ully, 
your obedient servants, 

John Kilgorb, ") 

September 5, 1834. John B. King, j- Lociimrj Cnmmismovprx* 

J.4MER H. Stewart, J 

Proceedings of the Commissioners. — The first Board of Commission- 
ers, consisting of David McCombs, Ira Bacon and Robert Newell, met at 
the house of George A. Spencer on the 19th of July, 1884, and proceeded 
first to lay off the county into Commissioners' districts as follows : District 
No. 1. — All county territory south of the line passing east and west be- 
tween Sections 16 and 21, Township 26 north, Range 3 west. District 
No. 2. — All county territory north of such line and west of Tippecanoe 
River. District No. 3. — All county territory east of Tippecanoe River, 
At the same time the county and all territory attached thereto were 
divided into the following townships : Township 25 north, in White 
County, and all the territory attached thereto to be Prairie Townshij). 
Township 26 north, in White County, and all the territory attached thereto 
to be Big Creek Township. Township 27 north, and all of township 28 west 
of Tippecanoe River, the same being in White County, and all the territory 
attached thereto, to be Union Township. All of White County east of 
Tippecanoe River to be Jaekso7i Township. Elections for Prairie Town- 
ship ordered held at the house of William Wood, with Solomon Mc- 
CuUoch, Inspector. Those of Big Creek at the house of George A. 
Spencer, with James Kerr, Inspector. Those of Union Township at the 
house of Melchi Gray, Avith James Spencer, Inspector. Those of Jack- 
son Township at the house of Daniel Dale, with John Scott, Inspector. 
Cornelius Clark was appointed County Assessor, and George A. Spencer 
County Treasurer. Clark was also appointed Collector of State ami 
County Revenue. At this time William Sill served as County Clerk and 
John Wilson, as Sheriff. 

At the September term, 1834, the report of the Commissioners appointed 
to locate the county seat was received, accepted, and the officers were paid 
$60 and discharged. The full text of this report will be found above. 

* Three Commissioners only, of the four or possibly five appointed by the I egisltiture. met on this 


At this time John Barr was appointed County Agent. The county 
revenue due the county was found to be $189. September 16th, the 
county agent was authorized to lay off the county seat into lots, and ad- 
vertise and sell a certain number on the 7th of November on the follow- 
ing terms : One fourth in ninety days from date, the remainder in two 
annual payments, the purchaser giving good security. In November, 
a petition signed by twelve freeholders was presented to the board by 
John Melholland praying that all the attached territory west of White 
County might be formed into a township to be called Pine. Granted. 
This territory comprised all of Indiana west of White County to the west 
line of the State, now constituting the northern part of Benton County 
and the southern portions of Jasper and Newton Counties. Elections in 
the new township of Pine were ordered held at the house of E. Thorn- 
ton, with Matthew Terwillager, Inspector, and Lott Thornton, Constable. 
An election for Justice of the Peace was ordered for November 29, 

1834. Cornelius Clark was appointed County Assessor for 1835, his 
compensation to be |14.87^. The first petition for a road was received 
from Big Creek Township, and signed by thirteen freeholders. James 
Wilson, Samuel Gray and James Kerr were appointed Viewers. This 
road was to extend from the northwest corner of Section 19, Township 26, 
Range 3, on the nearest and best route to the county seat. The receipts 
and expenditures of the county from July 19, 1884, to January 5, 1835, 
were as follows : 


Amount of collections |132.18f 


County orders now canceled 1K).37J 

Treasurer's percentage 2.13|- 

Total $112.50| 

Balance on hand % 19. 68 

In March, 1835, alicenseof $10 was levied upon clock venders, of $5 upon 
tavern keepers, and of $25 upon grocery keepers. A tax upon all real and 
personal property was levied to the full limit of the law: 40 cents on each 100 
acres of first class land, 30 cents on second class land, and 20 cents on third 
class land. The board met at the house of George Spencer until May, 1835, 
when, for the first time, they convened at Monticello. On the 5th of May, 

1835, the County Commissioners, with commendable enterprise, ordered 
that a meeting of the citizens of the county be called for the 12th of 
June, to organize an agricultural society in pursuance of legislative en- 
actment. The board ordered that a large lot on Tippecanoe street be 


donated for the purpose of building thereon a church to be used by all 
religious denominations. In September, 1835, the following territory 
attached to White County on the north was formed into Marion Town- 
ship : All that territory lying north of the township line between Town- 
ships 28 and 29, and west of Tippecanoe River, and westwardly to the 
State line. Elections were ordered held at the house of William Dona- 
hue, with Thomas Randle, Inspector. The 26th of September was fixed 
for the election of a Justice of the Peace. William Donahue was made 
Road Supervisor. Melchi Gray was paid $25.50 for assessing the county 
in 1835. The grocei-y license was fixed as follows : 

Capital under $300 $ 6 license. 

Capital over $300 and under |600 $10 licenae. 

Capital over $600 and under $1,000 $15 license. 

In January, 1836, Robert A. Spencer donated the county of White a 
tract of land 18 rods square for a burying ground. The Board met at 
the house of Jonathan Harbolt in March, 1836. Peter Martin was ap- 
pointed County Assessor. John Barr, County Agent, exhibited his re- 
port to date (March 8, 1836) of the sale of county lots in the town of 
Monticello, as follows : 

Gross receipt of sales from Nov. 7, 1834, to March 8, 1836 $1,870.37^ 

Amount donated by sundry individuals 110.00 

Total receipts $1,980.37^ 

Paid Jonathan Harbolt on court-house $ ] 24.681 

Paid Oliver Hammond do. 70.00 

Total expenditures $ 194.68^ 

Receipt balance l,785.68f 

Total cash received on sales 566.06|^ 

Amount of sales held as paper $1,414.31^ 

In May, 1836, the Board met at the house of Rolland Hews, in Monti- 
cello. G. A. Spencer was re-appointed County Treasurer for 1836-7, 
and Jonathan Harbolt, Seminary Trustee for the same period. As no 
agricultural society was organized as calculated in 1835, and as stated 
above, the Commissioners again called a meeting for that purpose to be 
held at Monticello June 11, 1836. In November, 1836, the Board met 
in the store-house of Reynolds k Castle at Monticello. The Three per 
cent. Commissioner reported having received from the State in accord with 
a legislative enactment the sum of $1,311.74, the most of which was or- 
dered put out on interest. In March, 1837, the Board called for sealed 
proposals for renting and establishing a ferry across the river at Monti- 
cello. In September Lewis Dawson of Pulaski County, which county 


was still attached to White, was appointed to superintend the application 
of the three per cent, fund due that county. In November the Board 
met at the house of Melchi Gray in Monticello. The clerk was ordered 
in 1843 to procure a half bushel and a gallon measure ; also a branding 
iron with the letters W. C. on the same to mark county measures. 

Court-houses and Jails. — In accordance with the legislative order or- 
ganizing the county of White, the first Circuit Court convened at the 
house of George A. Spencer in Big Creek Township, in 1834. It con- 
tinued to sit there for two years, or until the autumn of 1836, when it 
was removed to the county seat. This old building is yet standing' in a 
fair state of preservation. 

On the 5th of May, 1835, the Commissioners ordered that lot 29 in 
Monticello be set apart for the purpose of erecting thereon a court-house 
of the following size : twenty by thirty-two feet, two stories high, two 
partitions above dividing the rooms equally, and one below dividing the 
rooms twelve and twenty feet in length, respectively; one brick chimney 
to the small room, the house to be frame and of first-rate material, and to 
be completed by the 15th of October, 1835. Solomon Sherwood, B. A. 
Spencer, Jonathan Harbolt and Oliver Hammond were employed to build 
the house, but the work was not fully completed until about May, 1837, 
the total cost amounting to about |800. The house erected was not in 
all respects as described above, as several quite important alterations were 
made. About this time the jail which had been contracted to be built by 
Wm. M. Kenton was progressing, but the same was not completed until 
late in 1838, the total cost amounting to about $600. This jail was pro- 
vided not only with criminal rooms, but also with a room for such persons 
as could not or would not pay their just debts. Such rooms were in de- 
mand in those early days, and even now we could appreciate the wisdom 
of such a law in many instances. 

At a special session of the Board in February, 1845, the propriety of 
building county ofiices was broached, but definite consideration of the 
subject was postponed until the regular session in March. Then, ap- 
parently, the subject was entirely overlooked; at least nothing appears 
upon the records to show that the consideration was resumed as ordered. 
In June, 1846, however, the County Agent was ordered to take measures 
to have erected on lot 29 a frame building, sixteen by twenty feet, and 
one story high, to be completed by September, 1846, and the agent was 
further directed to call for sealed proposals for the erection of the 
building, and if no proposal was received, then to contract with any 
responsible person. It was also ordered that the agent proceed to 
collect a sufiicient amount of the outstanding donation fund as would 
cover the cost of constructing the house. Zachariah Van Buskirk was 


employed, and the house was completed according to contract, the 
total cost being about $500. This building was called the " Clerk's 

In 1848 the work of building a new and much larger court-house 
was begun, George BroWn taking the contract. No definite time was 
set for the completion of the house, as the funds of the county were 
very low, and the means of obtaining suitable additions to carry on 
the necessary expense were largely beyond the reach of the Commis- 
sioners. County orders which had been issued to the amount of sev- 
eral thousand dollars were selling at about five per cent, discount, 
and new ones gave no promise of selling for a better figure — just the 
reverse. Regardless of this discouraging condition of affairs the Com- 
missioners borrowed $2,000, and ordered the work to commence. But 
the progress of construction hung fire, and the building was not ready 
for occupancy until 1851. The total cost, including the furnishings, 
was nearly $8,000. The house was entirely paid for within a year 
after it was completed. In September, 1850, the "' Clerk's Office'" 
was ordered sold, the proceeds to be applied on the new court-house. On 
the 4th of December, 1851, more than three years after the house had 
been commenced, the Board ordered the offices of Clerk, Auditor, Re- 
corder and Treasurer removed to the new house. The Circuit Court oc- 
cupied the new court-room that fiill for the first time. The quaint old 
brick building, with its long corridor, its heavy windows, and its front 
"stoop " supported by two massive columns, is yet occupied, and gives prom- 
ise of many more years of usefulness despite the crevices which have 
pierced its sides, and the decay which time has stamped upon its walls 
Could that old building speak, what a tale it could unfold. 

In June, 1854, the Board gave the conti'act for a new jail to Michael 
A. Berkey and J. C. Reynolds, the work to be begun inmiediately, and 
the building to be finished by the 1st of June, 1855. The site of the 
structure was fixed on the west end of the court-house square. The con- 
tractors faithfully performed their part of the agreement, though the 
building was not formally accepted by the Board until September, 1855. 
The cost Avas $1,640. 

In 1864 it was found necessary to build a new jail. Specifications 
were exhibited, proposals were called for, and finally the contract was 
awarded to Jacob Hanaway and Charles Breckinridge, the price being 
$6,000. At this time the county Avas not embarrassed to provide funds 
notwithstanding the drafts made upon her for soldiers' bounty, relief of 
soldiers' widows and orphans, and road and bridge expenses. The build- 
ing was completed in 1865, and accepted by the Board in December. 
It was provided with strong iron cells for those who disobeyed the laws. 


In 1875 it was decided to build a new jail, and plans presented by Ran- 
dall and Millard, of Chicago, were accepted. The contract was let to 
Ralph Dixon at $7,700. John Saunders was appointed to superintend 
the construction. The building was immediately commenced, and was 
carried to rapid completion, and in December the finished jail, with 
jailor's residence attached, was turned over to the County Board, and 
formally accepted by them. This building is yet in use. 

County Seminary. — About the time the county was organized in 1834, 
a legislative enactment was passed, providing that certain fines, penal- 
ties, etc., such as for swearing, breaking the Sabbath, rioting, etc., should 
be appropriated and applied toward the maintenance of a County Semi- 
nary. On the 5th of May, 1835, Jonathan Harbolt was appointed Semi- 
nary Trustee to serve for one year. In January, 1886, the amount of 
funds on hand was |84. The law provided that when $400 had been 
obtained, the Board might proceed to erect a Seminary building. The 
increase of funds was very slow, there having been collected by the year 
1847 only $211.30 ; by 1849, $274.69 ; by June, 1850, $315 ; by June, 
1851, $360.62 ; by June, 1852, $403.28 ; by March, 1854, $440 ; and by 
1857, $781.43. Just about the time the Board was making preparations 
to build a Seminary, the new school law came into efi"ect, and the funds 
were turned over to the common schools. Thus the Seminary project 

County Library. — Another scheme of a similar character was that for 
securing and maintaining a County Library. Funds were secured in 
much the same way as for the Seminary. A few books were purchased 
as early as 1838, and from time to time were added to, until in 1845 
several hundred volumes were scattered over the county in the homes of 
the early settlers. In 1845 the Board of Commissioners organized them- 
selves as Trustees of the County Library, Allen Barnes becoming pres- 
ident, and Charles W. Kendall, librarian and clerk. The clerk was 
directed to gather in by public notice all the scattered books, and prepare 
a suitable catalogue, and keep the binding in repair ; also purchase, as the 
funds would allow, additional books. He was likewise instructed to pre- 
pare a constitution and by-laws, to be submitted to the Trustees for their 
adoption, if satisfactory. All this was complied with. J. C. Reynolds 
was appointed treasurer of the library. C. W. Kendall refused to serve 
as librarian and clerk, and J. M. Rifenberrick was appointed. John R. 
Willey became librarian in 1849. At last the scheme was abandoned 
by the State, and the books became scattered, lost, and were not re- 
placed. Township libraries took the place of the old county library. A 
number of years ago the McClure bequest furnished the county with mis- 
cellaneous books. The splendid system of newspapers throughout the 

.>,;.4 i4 




United States, and an abundance of cheap books, have obliterated 
the conditions requiring the continuance of the old systems of county and 
township libraries. The larger towns and many of the smaller ones have 
extensive circulating libraries, but the newspaper is the great " book" of 
the American people. Its usefulness has tripled within the last twenty 
years. The effects will be seen fifty years hence. 

The report of John Barr, County Agent, of the sale of county lots in 
Monticello from the 7th of November, 1834, to the 28th of April, 1837, 
was as follows : 


Total, including $110.00 donated by sundry persons $5,120.95 


Amount transferred to Mr.'Rifenberrick, present agent 8,738.77 

Vouchers on file 1,180.00 

Note, with interest to date, to Mr. Rifenberrick 202.82 

Total Ii!5,121.5y 

The sale of county lots was for many years an important source 
of revenue. When the Commissioners were in a strait, they would 
authorize the sale of a specified number, and the immediate collection of 
the proceeds of former sales. Many years sometimes elapsed before lots 
were paid for, and in a few instances the lots were returned to the Com- 
missioners, the purchaser utterly failing to pay as promised. These lots 
were donated to the county by the proprietors of Monticello in consider- 
ation of having the county seat located there. 

Miscellaneous Items of Interest. — In 1846 the annual expense of the 
county officers had risen from almost nothing to $425,47; in 1848 to 
$496.04 ; in 1850 to $580.51 ; in 1851 to $819.17 ; in 1852 to $1,378.96 ; 
in 1855 to $916.15 ; in 1859 to $1,557.09 ; in 1864 to $2,597.46 ; in 
1868 to $2,736.32 ; in 1872 to $3,210.32; in 1876 to $5,851.23; in 1880 
to $3,462.72. 

For the year 1834, the county receipts were $202. 06|; expenditures, 
$202.06^. For the year ending May, 1836, receipts, $290,381; expendi- 
tures, $267. 861. In 1839, receipts, $717.47; expenditures, $717.09. In 
1842, receipts, $1,477.13; expenditures, $1,136.81. In 1845, receipts, 
$2,416.99; expenditures, $2,337.79. In 1849, receipts, $5,931.82; 
expenditures, $7,018.72. In 1855, receipts, $10,948.79 ; expenditures, 
$11,800.29 ; balance on hand, $993.78. In 1858, receipts, $19,662.30 ; 
expenditures, $20,797.15. In 1864, receipts, $44,572.17; expenditures, 
$48,311.51. In 1868, receipts, $78,551.47; expenditures, $72,353.70. 
In 1872, receipts, $82,908.27; expenditures, $78,629.27. In 1876, 



receipts, |8T,110.96 ; expenditures, $108,516.05. In 1880, receipts, 
1120,895.07; expenditures, $119,674.52. 

The auditor's report of receipts and expenditures for the financial yeai 
ending on the 31st of May, A. D. 1882, was as follows: 


Balance in Treasury June 1, 1881 |42,326 23 

Net amount of State tax of 1881, 3,450 00 

New State House tax of 1881 522 43 

State School tax of 1881, 4,649 16 

County tax of 1881, 11,278 68 

Township tax of 1881, 1,554 09 

Road tax of 1881, 8,091 47 

Tuition tax of 1881, 5,716 03 

Special School tax of 188 1 , \ 5,041 71 

Dog tax of 1881, 552 19 

Delinquent tax 1880 and previous years 41,572 01 

Common School Revenue from State, , 11,992 70 

Redemption of real estate, 4,236 30 

University Fund, Principal, 135 00 

" " Interest, 26 25 

Swamp Land Sales 50 00 

Circuit Couit Docket fees, 277 55 

" ' ' Jury fees, 64 50 

" Bailiff fees, 32 75 

Railroad tax 15,487 00 

Receipts from other counties for court expenses, . . 794 05 

Received from Ex-treasurer Rothrock's bondsmen, 1,900 00 

Sale of stock from county farm, 98 10 

Miscellaneous Receipts, 365 39 

Received from Ditch Assessments, 589 16 

Total Receipts 

.$160,802 75 


Net amount of State t^x of 1881, paid over. 
New State House tax of '81," " . 
State School tax of '81, 
Delinquent State tax " " . 

Del. State House tax " " . 

" " School tax " " . 

Circuit Court docket fees " " . 
University fund. Principal " " . 
" " Interest " " . 

Swamp land funds " " . 

Specific Expense 

County Officers 


450 00 
522 43 
,649 16 
,819 35 
595 70 
,357 40 
277 55 
135 00 
26 25 
50 00 
,624 81 
501 03 
,964 17 
,317 20 
403 00 
,922 42 


Pauper " 2,273 66 

Poor Farm " 1 ,810 59 

Attorneys " 292 50 

Coroner's Inquest " 106 70 

Road " 535 50 

Ditch " 2,870 28 

Fox and Wolf scalps " 348 00 

Public Printing " 357 97 

Stationery " 2,022 50 

Assessing " 1,431 25 

Blind and Insane " 298 82 

Fuel " 308 80 

Bridge " 2,492 89 

Deaf and Dumb " 43 75 

Surveyor's fees " 4 55 

Estray " 443 04 

Public building " 1,100 52 

County Sup' t " 736 41 

Redemp'nofland " 4,098 34 

Township fund paid Trustees.... 5,268 48 

Road " " " 12,250 83 

Special school « " " .... 9,845 98 

Tuition '• " " .... 9,229 07 

Common school " " " . . . . 12,212 88 

Dog " " " 968 76 

Interest paid on County Orders 30 

Bonds 1,200 00 

Bonds Redeemed 6,000 00 

Ditch Certificates Redeemed 980 66 

Total Disbursements $110,148 49 


Total Receipts to June 1, 1882 $160,802 76 

Total Expenditures to June 1, 1882 110,148 49 

Balance in Treasury June 1, 1882 $50,654 26 

Of the amount of balance in Treasury, there is due the 

Townships and Corporations $17,582 67 

Railroad Tax 16,208 58 

County Bond Fund 10,943 17 

County Funds 5,919 84 

Total $50,654 26 

H. Van VOORST, Auditor, 
* M. T. DIDLAKE, Treasurer. 

County Paupers^ — The first expense incurred by the county in the 
care of public paupers, so far as can be ascertained, was in April, 1839, 
when the Commissioners ordered paid to James Mill the sum of $25 for 
taking care of a helpless person named Robert Ellison. The total pauper 
expense for the year ending May 1, 1839, was $39 ; for the year end- 


ing June 9, 1841, $40.77 ; for the year ending June 1, 1846, $161.79 ; 
for the year ending June 1, 1847, $212.68 ; for the year ending June 1, 
1852, $184.19 ; for the year ending June 1, 1854, $581.73 ; for the 
year ending June 1, 1856, $817.36 ; for the year ending June 1, 1858, 
11,217.40; for the year ending June 1, 1860, $1,578.98; for the year 
ending June 1, 1864, $2,083.45 ; for the year ending June 1, 1868, 
$1,867.56; for the year ending June 1, 1873, $1,177.31; for the year 
ending .June 1, 1878, $2,625.09, and for the year ending June 1, 1882, 
$2,273.66, The poor were at first taken care of by individuals to whom 
they were confided, the lowest bidder assuming the responsibility. Pro- 
posals for the care of the indigent were received from any respectable 
family. The expense was borne by the county. This plan was called 
"farming out " the paupers, and probably was a class of husbandry simi- 
lar to " baby farming," as sung of by Little Buttercup : 

" A many years ago 
When I was young and charming, 

As some of you may know 
I practiced baby farming." 

Some years the crop was almost a failure, owing doubtless to the pov- 
erty of the soil ; but at other times the yield satisfied the most exacting 
producer, though the Commissioners on such occasions were usually blue. 
The first farm for the poor was purchased in 1857 of J. C. Reynolds, and 
consisted of 160 acres, a portion of the present farm. Small tracts have 
been added from time to time since, until at present there are about 280 
acres. At the time the first land was purchased, there was standing upon 
it an ordinary dwelling of that period, which was fitted up for the care 
of such indigent persons as could not be " farmed out." This building 
was much improved as the years passed, and new structures were erected 
to keep pace with the demand of the poor for care. Notwithstanding the 
home thus prepared, many of the county's helpless have not been removed 
to that haven at all, but have been kept by private individuals through- 
out the county, often from motives of delicacy, they not wishing to incur 
the considered disgrace of a removal of their relatives to a public poor- 
house. At the same time an allowance for the care of such helpless per- 
sons was made by the County Board. In fh? Autumn of 1875 it was de- 
cided to erect a more commodious poorhouse. The c )ntract was awarded 
to Harbolt and Til ton, the house to be a frame, and to cost $3,000. The 
work was begun, and the building was ready for occupancy in December. 
The present facilities for the care of the poor are surpassed by but few 
counties in the State. The superintendents of the poor farm have been 
as follows : Charles Rider, 1858 ; Samuel Downs, 1859-60 ; Gordon 


McWilliams, 1861 ; Samuel Downs, 1862 ; Gordon McWilliams, 1863- 
64 ; Samuel K. McClintock, 1865-66 ; Daniel Wall, 1867-69 ; John 
Steen, 1870-71 ; John W. Snyder, 1872 ; Abraham Ballantine, 1873 ; 
Benjamin H. Brusie, 1874-79; John Snyder, 1881-82; Isaac Amick, 

Agricultural Societi/. — A few years after the county was organized, 
attempts were made to organize an agricultural society pursuant to an 
enactment of the State Legislature approved about the year 1838. Meet- 
ings were held for that purpose, and something in the Avay of organiza- 
tion was effected, but there all effort died Avithout hope of early resurrec- 
tion. The citizens of Reynolds and vicinity deserve great credit for 
early action in the direction of a promotion of agricultural, horticultural, 
and stock breeding interests. The People's Agricultural Society was or- 
ganized there twenty-five years ago, and much interest was manifested, 
and it was no doubt largely due to this interest that the county at large 
took up the matter. So far as can be learned, nothing further was done 
until October, 1857, at which time the citizens of Big Creek Township 
assembled, called A. S. White to the chair, appointed E.- D. Smith, 
Secretary, and adopted the following resolution ; 

Resolved, That this meeting deem it expedient that an effort be made to organize an 
Agricultural Society in White County, and that the citizens of the county be required 
to assemble at Monticello, Saturday, November 14th, at noon, to consult upon the subject, 
and if deemed admissible to take proper steps for the organization of such society. A 
general attendance from each township is requested. 

A respectable attendance of the citizens of the county answered the 
call on the 14th of November, on which occasion David Turpie was made 
Chairman and Abel T. Smith, Secretary. A. F. Reed, Lucius Pierce 
and Abel T. Smith were appointed a committee to draft articles of asso- 
ciation, and report at the next meeting. Adjourned until the 7th of De- 
cember. On this day the White County Agricultural Society was fully 
organized. The following members were elected the first officers : Al- 
bert S. White, President; Lucius Pierce, Vice-President; Randolph 
Brearly, Treasurer. Directors, R. W. Sill, of Honey Creek ; Anderson 
Irions, of West Point ; John A. Bunnell, of Princeton ; C. Hayes, of 
Prairie ; John C. Hughes, of Liberty ; W. H. King, of Cass ; James El- 
liott, of Jackson ; Peter Price, of Union ; A. A. Cole, of Monon, and 
George A. Spencer, of Big Creek. Over one hundred persons signed 
the constitution, and paid the fee of membership. At meetings held the 
following spring all necessary committees for the first fair to be held the 
Autumn of 1858 were appointed. A respectable premium list was pre- 
pared, and a really fine display resulted. Not only were all departments 


of the farm represented, but tlie arts and the mechanical industries were 
required to contribute to the general success of the occasion. After this, 
fairs were held quite regularly, often with abundant success, but some- 
times with but little display or interest, for about ten years ; since which 
time, all eiforts for a revival of this very important enterprise have en- 
countered flat failure. Before this society was organized, a local Agricult- 
ural Society, called " The Farmers' Association," was instituted (probably 
in Jackson Township), the objects of which were about the same as or- 
dinary societies for the promotion of agriculture, etc. The organization 
was completed in February, 1857, and on the 7th of November following 
a fair was held where horses, cattle, sheep, swine, vegetables, grain and 
fancy household work were exhibited. The Agricultural Society that 
was organized the same fall, as stated above, was the legitimate outgrowth 
of this " Farmers' Association." Unfortunately the names of the mem- 
bers can not be given. It is, perhaps, unnecessary to call attention to 
the importance of having in the county a society of this character. The 
County Commissioners should purchase the ground, and fit it with suitable 
buildings and accommodations. This would insure a permanent organiza- 

Medical Society. — On the 26th of April, 1864, pursuant to notice, 
eight members of the medical profession of White County met at the 
office of Dr. Haymond for the purpose of organizing a medical society. 
Dr. Anderson was made chairman, and a constitution previously prepared 
was read and adopted. An election of permanent officers resulted as fol- 
lows : Dr. Haymond, President ; Dr. Medaris, Vice-President ; Dr. 
Blackwell, Secretary. The time of meeting was fixed for the second 
Tuesday of each month. Various committees were appointed, and Dr. 
Anderson was selected to prepare and read at the next meeting, an essay 
on any medical subject he might choose. The society then adjourned to 
meet at Reynold's the second Tuesday in May next. Among other 
things the constitution provided that none but " Regular Physicians " liv- 
ing in the county could become members ; that three members should 
constitute a quorum ; that at each regular meeting the President should 
appoint a member to prepare an essay on some subject connected with 
medicine to be read at the next meeting ; that physicians of other coun- 
ties might become honorary members. Some of the early members were 
C. A. Barnes, H. P. Anderson, W. H. Ball, John A. Blackwell, W. S. 
Haymond, John Medaris, J. R. Skidmore, John A. Wood, William 
Spencer, J. H. Thomas, William Mote, A. V. Moore, H. D. Riddile, C. 
E. Lamon, R. A. Harcourt and A. B. Ballou. Other members were A. 
B. Jones, F. A. Grant, R. H. Delzell, R. S. Black, W. Tracy, W. V. 
Trowbridge, John Harcourt, M. T. Didlake, W. Holtzman, R. J. Clark 


and S. 11. Parks. Meetings continued to be held quite regularly, much 
interest being manifested, until 1869, when they were abandoned, though 
they were resumed again in October, 1875, at which time some modifi- 
cations in the laws were made. Several other intervals when no meet- 
ing were held have elapsed. The society is at present in a prosperous 
condition. It has been the custom since the society was first established 
to hold "clinics" and thoroughly discuss the cases in open debate. 
Interesting essays on all conceivable medical subjects have been read and 
discussed with an interest and vigor highly praiseworthy. The result 
has been to stimulate medical study and investigation, and give each 
member the benefit of the learning and experience of all his fellows. 
Some of the subjects discussed were as follows : Cerebro spinal meningi- 
tis, erysipelas, dysentery, prolapsus ani, endo and pericarditis, chloroform 
in parturition, Asiatic cholera, typhoid fever, etc. Physicians of other 
schools, such as Eclectic and Homeopathic, are debarred from becoming 
members, but it must be said that some of the most successful medical 
practitioners in the county are graduates of these celebrated schools. 

The following is a list of county physicians : L. A. Alford, S. B. 
Bushnell, R. J. Clark, William Tracy, William Spencer, Caleb Scott, J. 
P>. Burton, S. R. Cowger, H. B. Jones, R. B. Palmer, F. A. Grant, A. 
J. Dern, Isidore Welte, W. V. Trowbridge, R. M. Delzell, A. V. Men- 
denhall, D. W. Strouse, A. B. Ballou, M. C. Kent, William Guthrie, 
John C. Sharrer, T. B. Robinson, D. M. Kelley, J. W. McAllister, W. H. 
Holtzman, John Medaris, W. K. Briscoe, J. T. Smith, W. J. Baugh, L. W. 
Henry, L. Ramsey, H. J. Banta, J. W. Fogg, Mrs. Eliza Barans (midwiff(), 
Jane McKillop (midwife), M. L. Carr, W. W. Wilkerson, S. D. Sluyter, 
G. R. Clayton, R. R. Ober, Caroline Wittenberg, J. V. Reed, J. A. 
Wood, S. H. Parks, J. B. Baudle, W. R. Aydelotte, and H. E. Small. 

Creation of Towviships. — The county was at first divided into Prairie, 
Big Creek, Union and Jackson Townships on the 19th of July, 1884. 
The limits of these townships were described a few pages back. Monon 
was created in January, 1836; Liberty in September, 1837 ; Princeton, 
March, 1844 ; West Point, June, 1845 ; Cass, June, 1848 ; Honey Creek, 
June, 1855 ; Round Grove, December, 1858. Scarcely a township was 
created with its present boundaries, but all have been subjected to nu- 
merous and various alterations, an account of which will be found under 
the appropriate heads. 

County Si'.at Question. — Citizens in different portions of the county 
have made efforts from time to time, even as late as fifteen years ago, to 
either have the county seat located at some other point, or to have a new 
county formed partly out of White and partly out of several other sur- 
rounding counties. It was thought to have a county created, the geo- 


graphical center of which would be in Jackson Township, thus transform- 
ing Idaville or Burnettsville into a county seat, and throwing the county 
seat of White County eight or ten miles westward. It is not likely that 
a change of this character will occur ; at least the citizens of Monticello 
would squander their ready money to prevent so dire a disaster to their 
pecuniary interests. 

County Statistics, 1880.— Acres of wheat, 19,800, bushels, 257,092 ; 
acres of corn, 36,888, bushels, 1,035,203; acres of oats, 18,884, bushels, 
231,176 , acres of barley, 34, bushels, 460 ; acres of rye, 269, bushels, 
2,577 ; acres of Irish potatoes, 294, bushels, 16,472 ; acres of tobacco, 9, 
pounds, 600 , acres of buckwheat, 339, bushels, 3,347 ; acres of timothy 
meadow, 13,704, tons of timothy hay, 16,725 ; bushelsof timothy seed, 202 ; 
acres of clover, 579, bushels of seed, 568 ; acres of flax, 844, bushels of flax- 
seed, 4,011, tons of straw, 20 ; steam threshers, 12 ; horse-power threshers, 
11 ; bushels of apples, 59,710 ; bushels of dried apples, 830 ; bushels of 
pears, 91 ; bushels of peaches, 1,032; pounds of grapes, 20,353 ; gallons of 
strawberries, 398; gallons of cherries, 1,596 ; stands of bees, 1,239; pounds 
of honey, 16,724 ; cattle, 14,491; horses, 5,366; mules, 525; hogs, 28,550; 
sheep, 12,982; gallons of cider, 46,160; gallons of vinegar, 5,202; gallons 
of wine, 81; gallons of sorghum molasses, 4,956; gallons of maple molasses, 
40; pounds of butter, 217,522; dozens of eggs, 134,482; pounds of feath- 
ers, 1,846 ; township teachers' Institutes held, 41 (1881) ; male teachers, 
82 '^ female teachers, 42 ; brick schoolhouses, 1 ; frame schoolhouses, 107 ; 
value oi schoolhouses and grounds, $92,500 ; volumes of township libraries, 
1,148 ; number of private schools, 15 ; common and congressional school 
fund, $55,153.75 ; cubic feet of sandstone quarried, 153 ; cubic feet of lime- 
stone quarried, 162. 

Population.— In 1830, probably 40 ; in 1840, 1,832; in 1850, 4,761; 
in 1860, 8,258; in 1870, 10,554; in 1880, 13,747; as follows: Union, 
2,213 ; Round Grove and White Post, 1,635; Jackson, 1,724; Cass and 
Liberty, 1,785 ; Monon, 1,172 ; Honey Creek, 902 ; Big Creek, 776 ; 
Prairie, 2,144 , Princeton, 1,396. 

Old /Settlers' Association. — The first organized gathering of the old set- 
tlers of White County took place at the grove of George Spencer in Big 
Creek Township in the autumn of 1858. Many were present and a 
pleasant day was spent, though the details can not be given. The follow- 
ing year the second meeting was held at the same place, and of this meet- 
ing, also, there are no existing records. The meeting of September 8, 
1860, was held at the same place, several hundreds of the oldest residents 
being present. George A. Spencer was made President ; Thomas Spen- 
cer, John Roberts and W. M. Kenton, Vice-Presidents ; Lucius Pierce, 
Marshal, and J. J. Barnes, Secretary. Rev. H. C. McBride, Hon. 


Charles Test and Alfred Reed addressed the assemblage, reviewing in 
outline the history of the county, the mingled hardships and joys of 
earlier years, and extolling the hardy courageof the pioneers. A fine 
dinner was enjoyed, and the remainder of the day was spent in narrating 
personal experiences of the first settlement. It is quite likely that no 
further meetings were held until the present association was formed, as the 
war came on and engrossed the public mind. 

Pursuant to notice, a large meeting of old settlers was held at the court- 
house in Monticello, Saturday, August 16, 1873. C. W. Kendall was 
elected temporary Chairman, and 0. S. Dale, Secretary. The permanent 
officers elected were Alfred Reed, President ; C. W. Kendall, Secretary, 
and Israel Nordyke, Treasurer ; Peter Price, William Burns, Robert 
Rothrock, Solomon McCully, Noah Davis, Thomas Downey, Samuel 
Smelcer, Nathaniel Rogers, John Burns, Joseph McBeth, Joseph H. Thomp- 
son, William Jourdan and Austin Ward, Vice-Presidents. It was de- 
cided that persons living in the county twenty-one years should be consid- 
ered old settlers. A meeting was then fixed for the 25th of September, and 
a suitable program prepared. The procession formed at the court-house 
on the day stated, and marched to the Fair Ground, where miscellaneous 
services were enjoyed. The meeting of 1874 was held at Reynold's Grove 
near Monticello, as was that of 1875 and of 1876. At the latter meeting 
a long historical address was read by Milton M. Sill. Meetings have 
been held annually since. It has been customary to procure some speaker 
from abroad ; but the most interesting and valuable features of the meet- 
ings are the personal reminiscences of the old settlers.* The usual pro- 
gram is something like this : 1. Music by the band. 2. Prayer. 3. 
Reading of Minutes. 4. Music by the old settlers' choir. 5. Calling roll 
of old settlers. 6. Picnic dinner. 7. Old songs. 8. Historical and mis- 
cellaneous addresses. 9. Election of officers. 10. Annual address. 11. 
Social enjoyment. 12. Adjournment. The total membership since 1873 
has been 340. The officers for the ensuing year (1882-3) are: Presi- 
dent, B. K. Roach ; Vice-Presidents, Charles Reid, Sen., George Cullen, 
Thomas Barnes, Jesse L. Watson, D. M. Tilton, C. C. Spencer, John 
Gay, Stewart Rariden, Anderson Irion, Isaac M. Davis and Aaron 
Wood ; Secretary, A. R. Orton ; Treasurer, W. B. Spencer. 

Educational Statistics. — In 1840 there was but one established school 

• It is a serious mistake that the incidents of early days, as narrated at these meetings, are not 
carefully preserved. What will the descendants of the old settlers think, fifty years hence, of the 
fact that an old settlers' meeting was held, for instance, in 1880 ? They won't care a straw for such 
knowledge. They will want the stories told by you, and ymt— the actual and detailed experiences 
of their grandfathers. They will want your deer stories, your Indian stories, your stories of priva- 
tion, descriptions of schools, churches, domestic experiences, journeys to mill and to towu— not of 
such things in general, but what you actually saw and passed through. By all means old settlera 
should see that such things are recorded. If necessar>- a competent clerk could 1 e hired, 


in White County, and that was at Monticello. Schools had been taught 
in other places, notably in Prairie Township, but no schoolhouses had 
been erected where steady or regular schools were taught. The first 
Teachers' Institute was held in 1866 with an attendance of 82. In 1865 
there were 76 teachers, and two graded schools with five teachers. The 
first graded school was taught by George Bowman in 1848-9. In 1878 
there were 4,590 school children ; in 1868 there were 3,673, and in 1852 
there were in Township 27, Range 3, 394; T. 28, R. 3, 213; T. 27, R. 
2, 303 ; T. 27, R. 5, 113 ; T. 26, R. 3, 146 ; T. 28, R. 4, 142 ; T. 25, 
R. 2, 118 ; T. 25, R. 3, 148 ; T. 25, R. 4, 197 ; T. 26, R. 4, 117. 
The net amount of school tax in 1851 was $822.45. In March, 1853, 
the surplus revenue Avas $2,125 ; interest, $166.41 ; total, $2,291.41 ; 
expense from this fund, $145.16. 

Report for the year ending April 30, 1856 : 

Number of Children. Total School Fund. 

Prairie 466 $ 548.86 

Big Creek 211 458.63 

Union 523 377.90 

Monon 342 397.45 

Liberty 269 278.70 

Jackson 374 317.78 

Princeton 169 159.89 

West Point .... 138 324.46 

Cass 138 195.41 

Honey Creek 76 113.21 

Total 2706 $3,371.79 

In 1878 there Avere seven graded schools Avith tAA'elve teachers. At 
the same time there were 124 teachers in the county ; also 102 school- 
houses. Per cent, of children enrolled in the schools in 1878 v^^as 83. 
Number of children not attending school, 762. J^umber of teachers in 
1877, 113. Number of schoolhouses in 1853, 25. Amount of congres- 
sional school fund held in trust in 1878, $35,570.96. Estimated value of 
school property, $91,850. Estimated value of school apparatus, $2,015. 
Estimated special school tax, $11,079.50. Number of volumes in town- 
ship library, 1,356. Number of pri\'ate schools taught in public, 20. 
Number of toAvnship institutes during the year (1878), 45. Amount of 
common school fund held in trust in 1878, $13,983.26. Annual revenue 
from liquor license, $700. Tuition revenue for schools, $7,688.86. Whole 
number of teachers licensed — males, 147, females, 103. Number rejected, 
80. Attendance at one county institute, 178. Tavo Normal Institutes — 
enrollment at Monticello, 46, at Burnettsville, 144. Average daily 
attendance of children in the county schools, 2,423. Number of brick 
schoolhouses, 1. Number of school children in 1880, 4,514. 




' CO CC t^ :> j iH .^ »0 d Ca «0 1-- f-4 .0 o c 





< .-( rH CO CI :^ 00 CO rf '^ ^ -M r^l C-l t 


rHio : ; : ;qjgot~Mo 


O M to irf CO —■ i-i ■* ^ O Q «■ 


: .2 : • • rt : a> P o -'-'=3 • 

:,M : : : : c 13 : E >-_= C « >. : 


• S.O t: O 

• >-' •-■^ C m £> 

,^ • I— oooool...o^OTf«o'^Ioowo^^ 






«0(N-* jOtOO 

•J3 S CO : CO 00 O 

rHTf (M :i-ItHi-I 


3 H ^ 






£2 IS^ 


OJ 1^ CO lO Cfc; CO *-H lO -^ -^ O 

CO fH CO OS lO tH CI ■^ t^ CI C^l 
iP O CO 1;; 2> rj. CI lA O L-S CI 


a -5 :: o F F I 
S 9 S o ^^ 


County Commissioners. — Ira Bacon. Daniel McCombs and Robert 
Newell, 1834; Daniel Dale appointed November, 1834, vice McCombs re- 
signed; Robert Newell, 1835 ; James Gay appointed May, 1886, vice Ira 
Bacon resigned; James K. Wilson, 1836; William W. Mitchell, 1837; 
William Wood, 1838; John Young, 1839; James H. Hiett, 1840; Ransom 
McOonnahay, 1841 ; Allen Barnes appointed November, 1841, vice 
Hiett resigned; C. D. W. Scott, 1842; James Kerr appointed Septem- 
ber, 1842; Allen Barnes, 1843; James Shafer, 1844; J. H. Wilson, 1845; 
Solomon McCulley, 1846; Samuel Smelcer, 1847 ; James P. Moore, 
1848; Jefferson Courtney, 1849; Solomon McCulley appointed 1850, 
vice Courtney removed from the District; James K. Wilson, 1851; 
Christopher Vandeventer, 1852; Andrew Hannah, 1853; J. K. Wilson, 
1854; S. K. Timmons, 1855; Thomas Downey, 1856; William H. King 
appointed spring of 1857; George Cullen, 1858; Anderson Irions, 1859; 
A. M. Dickinson, 1860; George Cullen, 1861; James Hays, 1862; A. 
M. Dickinson, 1863; James Renwick, 1864; Samuel Smelcer, 1865; 
Christopher Hardy, 1866; John G. Timmons, 1867; Theodore J. Davis, 
1868 ; James C. Gross, 1869; Thomas Downey, 1870; John Parrish, 1871; 
A. M. Dickinson, 1872; John Parrish, 1873; Martin R. Cartmell, 1874; 
. David L. Fisher, 1875; Jacob Pfister, 1876; Nelson Hornbeck, 1877; 
Jacob Pfister, 1878; John T. Barnes, 1879; John Q. Beam, 1880 ; John 
T. Barnes, 1881; Eli W. Cowger, 1882; Alfred C. Tamm, 1882. 

Treasurers. — George A. Spencer, 1834; Asa Allen appointed May, 
1838; Peter Price, 1841 (bond $2,000); Isaac Reynolds, 1841; Dr. 
Randolph Brearly, 1844; Jonathan Harbolt, 1845; James C. Reynolds, 
1848; R. W. Sill, 1850; Jonathan P. Ritchie, 1852; William Russell, 
1854; Michael A. Berkey, 1856; John E. Dale, 1858; William E. Samuel- 
son appointed July, 1861 (bond $10,000); Albert Kingsbury, 1862; Jo- 
seph Rothrock, 1862; Granville B. Ward, 1866; Joseph Rothrock, 1868; 
Israel Nordyke, 1872; John Paris, 1876; Madison F. Didlake, 1880 
(bond $100,000). 

Sheriffs.— Aaron Hicks, 1834; John Wilson, 1834; James Parker, 1836; 
Daniel M. Tilton appointed 1839, vice Parker, resigned; James C. 
Reynolds, 1842 ; Elisha Warden, 1844 ; Robert W. Sill, 1848 ; Michael 
A. Berkey, 1852 ; Henry C. Kirk, 1854 ; William Wright, 1858 ; Ma- 
thew Henderson, 1860; Milton M. Sill, 1864; Mathew Henderson, 1868; 
W. E. Saunderson, 1870; Enoch J. Denham, 1874; Irwin Greer, 1874 ; 
James Hay, 1878 ; Joseph W. Stewart, 1882. 

Auditors.— yV imam Sill, 1834; Thomas M. Thompson, 1846; J. D. 
Cowdin, 1853; William Russell. 1855 (died 1856); Joseph D. Cowdin, 
1856 ; Thomas Bushnell, 1861; George Uhl, 1869 ; Henry Yan Voorst, 


Recorders.— WiWiam Sill, 1834 ; T. M. Thompson, 1846 ; Hugh B. 
Logan, 1856 ; John S. Hurtt, 1862 ; William W. McCulloch, 1866 ; 
Rufus L. Harvey, 1874. 

Clerks.— WiWhm Sill, 1834 ; Ransom McConnahay, 1848 ; Orlando 
McCoiinahay, 1858; Daniel D. Dale, 1800; G. W. Lawrence, 1874; 
Samuel P. Cowger, 1878. 

Coro7iers. — John Wilson, 1834 ; Thomas R. Dawson, 1836 ; Peter 
Price, 1837 ; Jonathan Harbolt, 1840 ; George Snyder, 1844 ; George R. 
Bartley, 1846; Joseph Day, 1848 ; Joseph Phillips, 1850; Richard 
Worthington, 1852 ; William Parcels, 1858 ; Charles Kahler, 1862 ; Zach- 
ariah Van Buskirk, 1865 ; William P. Montgomery, 1867 ; R. M. 
Delzell, 1870 ; L. W. Henry, 1874 ; John Yopst, 1876 ; R. J. Clark, 

Surveyors.— Asdi AWexi, 1838 ; Joshua Lindsey, 1842 ; J. Odell, 1850 ; 
J. D. Cowden, 1854; William G. Hicks, 1855 ; Thomas Kennedy, 1856 ; 
W. E. Saunderson, 1857 ; Alfred R. Orton, 1858 ; Milton M. Sill, 1859 ; 
Nathaniel Shadbolt, 1861 ; David Mahoney, 1863 ; John Kious, 1865 ; 
Edgar P. Henry, 1870; Charles Archer, 1874 ; F. J. Edwards, 1876 ; 
Thomas M. Foltz, 1878 ; A. R. Orton, 1880. 

School Examiners. — James Kerr, 1836 ; N". Bunnell, 1838 ; Jonathan 
Harbolt, 1839; Charles W. Kendall, 1845; James Kerr, 1846; diaries 
Dodge, 1848 ; Jonathan Harbolt, 1849; George D. Miller, 1856; Robert 
Irwin, 1856; Joseph Baldwin, 1858: E. R. Herman, 1860; J. T. Rich- 
ardson, 1861 ; George Bowman, 1861 ; William P. Koutz, 1862 ; William 
Hanawalt, 1864; George Bowman, 1865; William Irelan, 1865; S. B. 
Seawright, 1868; D. E. P. Henry, 1868; Rev. Gilbert Small, 1870 ; 
George Bowman, first Superintendent, 1873; William Irelan, 1875; 
George Bowman, 1877; William Guthrie, 1882. 

Assessors. — Cornelius Clark, 1885 ; Malachi Gray, 1835 ; R. A. 
Spencer, 1836 ; Isaac N. Parkes, 1837 ; Asa Allen, 1838 ; Malachi 
Gray, 1839 ; Asa Allen, 1840 ; W. W. Mitchell, 1840 ; Abraham Snea- 
then, 1845 ; Joseph Rothrock, 1846 ; William Orr, 1847 ; David McCon- 
nahay, 1849 ; Zachariah Van Buskirk, 1850-51. 

County Agents. — John Barr, 1834; William M. Kenton, 1839 ; Samuel 
Rifenberrick, 1841 ; Jacob Beck, 1841 ; Samuel Rifenberrick, 1842-53. 

Three Per cent. Commissioners. — Zebulon Sheets, 1834 ; Mahlon Fra- 
zee, 1838 ; David Berkey, 1839 ; Mahlon Frazee, 1841 ; Zebulon Sheets, 

Seminary Trustees. — Jonathan Harbolt, 1834-54. 

Circuit Judges. — John R. Porter, 1834 ; Isaac Naylor, 1888 ; John 
Wright, 1842 ; Horace P. Beddle, 1846 ; John U. Pettit, 1852 ; Charles 
H. Test, 1858 ; Bernard B. Dailey, 1875 ; John H. Gould, 1876. 


Associate Judges. — James Barnes and Thomas Wilson, 1834 ; Thomas 
McCormick, 1841 ; James Barnes, 1841. 

Probate Judges. — Robert Newell, 1834 (died in office) ; Aaron Hicks, 
1846. (In 1853 probate matters were transferred to the Common Pleas 

Common Pleas Judges. — Samuel Huff, 1853 ; Gustavus Wood, 1854; 
David P. Vinson, 1862 ; Alfred Reed, 1867 ; B. F. Schermerhorn, 1869. 
(In 1873 the court was merged into the Circuit Court.) 

Politics. — For the first few years after the county was organized, poli- 
tics was in more or less of a chaotic state. Families were so isolated 
and usually in such poor circumstances, that far weightier matters than 
the selection of political rulers engrossed in a great measure individual 
attention, and prevented any regularity of attendance at the polls. It 
was also soon found that the two principal parties of that day were so 
nearly equal, numerically, that any speculation ;\s to the results of an 
election was like guessing at the weather of the following week. Some- 
times one party triumphed and sometimes the other. Then again our 
fathers (peace to their ashes!) were inveterate ' "scratchers," voting 
almost invariably at local elections for the man, and not for the party. 
It has been learned, though all the early election returns could not be 
found, that the county soon assumed a decided Democratic tendency. 
As will be seen from the table at the close of this chapter, the county, 
at the Presidential election in 1836, went Whig by a majority of three. 
But both before and after this election. Democratic majorities much 
greater than three were frequent. It was not long ere the question of 
slavery began to enter the political contests in the county, and soon there 
was developed a small band of Abolitionists, too few in numbers to 
render it advisable to attempt any organized action. The proceedings 
in Congress, and the attitudes of the north and south, were not lost to the 
earnest hearts which felt the pressure of the national disgrace. As the 
years passed and the full magnitude of the evil became wretchedly ap- 
parent, the political fires began to flame more fiercely, and the bitter 
mutterings of wrath began to engender protracted individual animosities. 
Through the decade of the '40s, especially near its close, keen and uni- 
versal interest was manifested in the results of the struggle over the exten- 
sion of slave territory. This interest led to very heavy returns at all the 
elections. Still the Democratic majority continued to increase. The 
repeal of the Missouri compromise, however, came near losing the county 
to the Democracy, a result that would surely have happened had it not 
been for the influence of the Democratic county newspaper, which scat- 
tered over the county its pen pictures of the disgrace of " nigger equality." 
The Republican party sprang into life, securing its members from the 



younger, more progressive and better elements of both old parties, and 
began in its youth, Theseus like, with such strength as to compel the 
Democracy to put forth its utmost efforts, or submit to defeat. At last, 
in 1860, when the " Irrepressible Conflict" could no longer be avoided, 
the county went Republican by a fair majority, 'and continued to do so 
until 1882, when the Democracy again secured the ascendency. The 
hard times growing out of the war gave birth to the Greenback party, 
which continues to thrive, its present county strength being about 150. 
Thus is seen a panoramic view of the politics of White County since its 

The following tables, which well illustrate the political aspect of the 
county, were obtained after much trouble : 

November. 1836. 

November. 1840. 



Van Buren 








Van Buren 
















Big Creek 




The remainder of the vote of 1 840 could not be found ; neither could 
the vote of 1844. 

November, 1848. 

November, 1852. 


Prairie. . . . 
Big Creek. 


Liberty . . . 
Monon .... 
Jackson . . . 
Princeton . 
West Point 

Total . . 





























34 1 



Big Creek. 
Prairie. . . . 
West Point 
Princeton . 
Monon . ... 
Liberty . , . 


Jackson. . . 

Total . . 








November, 1856. 

November, 1860. 


'^-■^ w^a-a 1 1 TOWNSHIPS. 

]S OS 

ft SPq S 
^ P 


Big Creek . . 


West Point. 
Princeton . 
Monon ... 
Liberty . . . . 

148 124 



Honey Creek 







3 1 















JBig Creek... . 


West Point. . . 






Honey Creek 
Round Grove , 









i^ « 

H*"* 1^ 




L 172 

































November, 1864. 

November, 1868. 



































Big Creek 


Big Creek 



AVest Point 


West Point 









Cass. . . . . 



Honey Creek 

Round Grove 

Honey Creek 

Round Grove 








November, 1872.. 

November, 1876 
























Union . 
























Big Creek 

iBig Creek 



West Point 

West Point 



Monon. . 


Monon .... 








Honey Creek 

Round Grove 

Honey Creek. 

Round Grove 

























Union . 
























Big Creek 


Prairie .... 


West Point. 


Princeton. . 




Cass . . ... 











The County Militia — Soldiers of 1812 — The Campaign of 1846-7 
— The Election of 1860 — The Fall of Fort Sumter — Treason 
AT Home — The First Volunteers — Captain Reed's Company — 
War Meetings— Sanitary Efforts — Continued Enlistment — 
Patriotism — Summary of Important Events — Additional Com- 
panies — The Draft — Number of Men Furnished — Bounty and 
Relief — End of the War — Lincoln's Death — Sketches of 
Regiments — The Roll of Honor — Interesting Notes. 

THE old militia system which had prevailed from the organ- 
ization of White County until the Rebellion of 1861-5, and which 
had done such excellent service during all the Indian border wars years 
before the county had any existence, was permitted to run down and 
almost die out, owing to the long continued peace. It is stated that a 
militia company was organized at Monticello and vicinity about the year 
1840, and that for a few years annual musters were enjoyed, but no 
definite information on the subject has been obtained. About the year 
1852, the Legislature enacted that the militia of each Judicial District 
should be thoroughly organized, and in response to this, one company 
was formed at the county seat. In December, 1856, the County Com- 
missioners through their agent, J. D. Cowden, Auditor of White County, 


requested Governor Wright to send by rail to Reynolds Station the 
quota of arms due the county under the existing law. The guns were 
accordingly received and distributed to the members of the " White 
County Guards." The company was required to execute a bond in the 
sum of $500 that the arms would receive proper care, and be returned to 
the Auditor under specified conditions. After this for some time the 
musters were greatly enjoyed. These arms were in the county when 
the Rebellion broke out, but were then sent to Indianapolis by order of 
the Governor, under the protests of the citizens of the county, as will be' 
learned farther along. No other organization of the militia was effected 
until 1881, when the Independent Artillery Company was organized at 
Monticello with Henry Van Voorst, Captain ; Isaac Price, First Lieu- 
tenant ; E. P. Roberts, Second Lieutenant. Two pieces of ordnance 
were obtained from the east at a cost of $50, both being unmounted. 

War of 1812. — Quite a number of the early settlers were no doubt ex- 
soldiers of the war of 1812-15, and it is possible that a few participated 
in the earlier struggle for independence. The writer has learned the 
name of one soldier of the war of 1812, who became a prominent citizen 
of White County and was one of the first Board of Commissioners. The 
following explains about all that is known of his military services. 

Ira Bacon, a private in Captain Van Meter's company of Ohio Militia in the service of 
the United States, has faithfully performed a six months' tour of duty, and is hereby 
honorably discharged from the service at Fort Meigs this 22d day of February, 1815. 
Jacob Linn, John Russell, 

Sergeant, Major Ohio Militia, Commanding Ft. Meigs. 

The Mexican War. — Three men only went from White County to 
serve the Government in the war with Mexico. These men were William 
F. Ford, LT. H. Steele, and Beveridge McCormick, all three going from 
Jackson Township, and joining Captain Tipton's Company E of the 
United Siates Regiment of Mounted Rifles, rendezvoused at Logansport. 
The boys enlisted on the 6th of June, 1846, for a term of five years, and 
were first ordered to Cincinnati, thence to St. Louis, where they were 
mounted and fully equipped. Soon afterward they moved to New 
Orleans, and then, in November or December, 1846, took shipping for 
Point Isabel, where they arrived the 24th of December. After a short 
time spent along the Rio Grande River, the regiment was shipped to Vera 
Cruz, losing on the way all their horses in a heavy storm on the Gulf. 
The regiment participated in the bombardment of Vera Cruz in March, 
1847. After the capitulation on the 27th, the march along the great 
National road toward the Mexican capital was begun. Cerro Gordo was 
reached and assaulted, but here the fortune of war turned against the 


White County boys. In the first day's fight William F. Ford received a 
severe saber cut on the left thigh just above the knee, but the wound did 
not incapacitate him from participation in the second day's fight. On 
this day, however, while in the hottest of the fight, his right leg was 
taken off" just above the ankle by a cannon ball, lie also received a 
lance thrust through one wrist and a pistol ball through the other, be- 
sides a bayonet thrust under the chin, the point coming out at his mouth, 
knocking out several teeth on his lower jaw and shattering the bone. 
Notwithstanding all this he is yet living at Monticello, in the enjoyment 
of reasonable health. He wears a fine bronze badge cast from some old 
cannon. At the battle of Cerro Gordo, the Mexican commander. Gen. 
Santa Anna, was compelled to fly so hastily that he left behind his 
wooden leg, besides many other valuable personal effects. Mr. Ford, 
while lying wounded and almost helpless, managed to purloin an epau- 
lette belonging to the uniform of Santa Anna, a portion of which he yet has 
and values very highly. He draws a pension of $18 per month. McCor- 
mick lost his left arm at Oerro Gordo by a ball which ranged across his 
breast from right to left. The wound was so near the shoulder that it was 
found necessary to remove the humerus from its socket. The poor fellow 
was unequal to the emergency, and soon died from the eff'ects of the wound. 
Steele was taken sick at or near Chepultepec, and finally died of a severe 
attack of diarrhoea. x\mong the ex-soldiers of the Mexican War, who have 
lived in the county, are the following : Roy D. Davidson, who served in a 
Kentucky regiment, and was in the battle of Buena Vista ; Michael Austin, 
of an Ohio regiment, who was also at the battle of Buena Vista; Thomas 
Cooper, who served in the same regiment as Mr. Ford ; Mr. Conkling, a 
cousin of Senator Conkling's, who served in the First Indiana Regiment; 
John Wright, who fought at Buena Vista in a Kentucky regiment ; Mr. 
Penny, who was also in the battle of Buena Vista ; Andrew Robinson, also 
in the First Indiana and at Buena Vista. 

Afterthe war with Mexico, nothing occurred to disturb the peaceful pur- 
suits of the citizens. The political campaigns were bitterly fought, and 
many began to intimate that the country was on the brink of dissolution or 
of a great civil war. The Presidential campaign of 1856 was conducted 
with a spirit unknown before in the history of the county. It was realized 
that a grave responsibility rested upon the shoulders of the President, and 
that to idly select men for that high position might involve the country in 
disaster, from which it would never emerge. Events were anxiously 

The Campaign of 1860. — The Presidential campaign in White County 
during the autumn of 1860 was of the most exciting character. Almost 


every township had its company, or companies, of " Wide Awakes "; and 
scarcely a night passed without public speaking and noisy and enthusias- 
tic demonstration. The clubs of Democracy uniformed themselves with 
hickory suits, erected flag poles, and flung the names of Douglas and 
Johnson to the breeze. Torch-light processions and vociferous cheering 
disturbed the drowsy air of night. The emblems of the Republican clubs 
were " v'ails " or " mauls and wedges," and the name of " Honest Old 
Abe " was shouted with a power that will carry it echoing dcwn the 
coming centuries. When the returns were all in, and Lincoln's name 
was on every tongue, and when the Southern States one after another 
began to enact ordinances of secession, and even the air seemed 
freighted with treason, all wiser heads saw that the conflict had come. 
The slavery question must be settled either to the satisfaction of the 
North or the South ; no evasion would answer. The Spectator and the 
Democrat began a bitter discussion of the questions of slavery, State 
rights, secession, etc. The Spectator said, in answer to a question from 
its rival : 

The Democrat wants to know if we think a State can peaceably secede. Yes, with the 
consent of a majority of all the ocher parties interested. This should be given to South 
Carolina. The reasons by which we arrive at such conclusion are these : Whenever our 
form of government becomes burdensome to any member of the Confederacy, failing to 
protect and perpetuate it in its rights of person and property, such State can no longer 
respect the association, being in fact already alienated by a peculiar and inherently right- 
ful, though not moral, view ; and after she has asked, as in the case of South Carolina, to 
dissolve the company and mutually withdraw from the partnership, our interpretation of 
the meaning and intent of the Constitution does not lead us to conclude that her appeals 
should be regarded with insult, and the blessings of liberty /o?-ce«^ upon unwilling subjects 
by coercion at the cos t of war, bloodshed and treason. 

Many prominent Republicans throughout the county argued in a simi- 
lar strain. The country had been educated to believe that the Govern- 
ment Avas a mere compact, and that any State could leave the Union 
when the terms of the compact were violated, or even at will ; but the 
education was the result of southern artifice, the wily " fire-eaters " of the 
preceding half century neglecting no care or avoiding no issue that would 
instill the poison of the hateful heresy into the public heart both North 
and South. Men did not fully know their own minds. A revolution in 
thought on the subject of State rights, secession, slavery, etc., was ensu- 
ing, and the public mind was buffeted around by every breeze of senti- 
ment or fancy or even folly. Here and there arose some clear intellect, 
head and shoulders above its fellows, and looked down with the impartial 
eye of a philosopher upon the true and ominous state of the country. 
To such men the hearts of all turned anxiously for relief. When Mr. 


Lincoln took the reins of government, speedy relief from public gloom and 
embarrassment was expected; but as time slipped away, and effective 
action was masked by broad generalizations, and the course of the Ad- 
ministration was clouded with apparent doubt and hesitancy, many of the 
best Union men lost heart. The friends of disunion looked upon the 
hesitancy as a practical acknowledgment that the Government could see 
no way under the Constitution of a settlement of existing differences. 
But when the blow at last fell upon Fort Sumter, and all pacific over- 
tures from the Administration even to an avowal that no established insti- 
tution of the South should be interfered with, were haughtily rejected, 
the mask of peace was thrown aside, and the call to arms sent a thrill of 
joy and hope to thousands of loyal hearts. In view of the darkness 
which enveloped the country at subsequent stages of the war, when it 
seemed certain that masses in the North would compel a cessation of hostil- 
ities and permit the Southern States to go out of the Union, the tran- 
scendent wisdom of Mr. Lincoln in throwing upon the South the responsi- 
bility of commencing the rebellion, even in the face of the most abun- 
dant promises, undoubtedly saved the country from hopeless disruption. 

Opening Scenes. — In the issue of the Spectator of April 19, 1861, 
was published the following letter : 

Editor Spectator: — Let me call your attention to the necessity of organizing in 
▼arious parts of this county eificient committees to attend to those persons who openly 
declare themselves against the Government. 

Yours, etc., 

The Spectator said : 

The above letter was received through the postoffice several days ago. It is from a 
responsible and influential farmer of this county ; and while we would not wish to encour- 
age a spirit of intolerance in politics or anything else, in view of our national troubles, 
we think the majority of law-abiding citizens regard expressions like the above as purely 
loyal, and in many cases absolutely necessary to be complied with. * * * * A few 
gentlemen about this town and throughout the county may find it wholesome to heed the 
caution in Judge Test's charges [referring to the punishment for treason] and our cor- 
respondent's letter. War has been levied against the Government, and " giving aid and 
comfort to its enemies " consists in more than enlistinsr and fighting under the rattle- 
snake banner. Revolutionary Tories were roughly dealt with for no less crime than 
they are guilty of every day. 

The Call to Arms. — In the same issue of the paper a call for volun- 
teers was advertised by W. M. McCarty, of Shelbyville. Also the call 
3f President Lincoln for 75,000 State militia to put down tlie rebellion. 
There also appeared in the same issue the following : 

About one hundred men, residents of this county, have enlisted in tlicir country's 


defense, some of whom joined Col. R. H. Milroy's company from Rensselaer. Of these J. 
G. Staley, Watson Brown, Martin Cochell, Francis Sweet, Lewis Murray, Edward NefiF, 
James Stevenson and brother, went from this place. Twenty-five were from Bradford, 
and twenty from Reynolds. Ihe fervent prayers of our citizens go with them. 

Thus it was that within four days after the fall of Fort Sumter, and 
within two days after the call of the President for 75,000 volunteers, the 
county of White responded with one hundred resolute men. This excel- 
lent beginning was but a specimen of the responses with which White 
County honored, through all the succeeding years of war, the calls of the 
Government for troops. The Spectator of April 26th, said : 


While the whole country is in a blaze of righteous indignation at the giant proportions 
of treason, Monticello is not fnv behind her sister towns in expressing an emphatic dis- 
approbation of secession madness. Already a respectable deputation of her inhabitants 
has enlisted for battle, and many more are ready to march when their services are 
demanded. Pursuant to the call issued by Thomas Bushnell, Auditor of this County, for 
the organization of military companies to retain the United States arms in our midst, and 
serve as home or reserve guards, a number of our citizens met at the court-house last 
Tuesday. Ransom McConahay was chosen President, and John J. Barnes, Secretary of 
the meeting. Before taking his seat, Mr. McConahay made a telling Union speech, 
which v/as loudly applauded, and followed by others in like lofty strains — all resolving 
to forget political differences and fight for common interests, to sink the partisan in the 
patriot, and not inquire why the present war was brought about, but how to best protect 
our homes, put down treason, and honorably sustain our once glorious Union. After 
these mutual and hearty pledges had been given on all hands, a committee consisting of 
Thomas Bushnell and Lucius Pierce was delegated to report an article or oath to be 
signed by all who wished to form themselves into a reserve guard, and drill preparatory 
toany call the emergency of public safety may render necessary. This being submitted 
and adopted, some thirty men, old and young, subscribed their names to it before the meet- 
ing adjourned. John C. Brown and Daniel D. Dale were appointed another committee to 
wait on our citizens and solicit signers to said document. The meeting then adjourned to 
assemble again that night, when there was a much better turn-out. Peter S. Rader was 
called to the chair, and Oliver S. Dale made Secretary. At this meeting several patriotic 
speeches were offered, and after considerable debate as to the propriety of organizing for 
immediate action and proffering the services of a picked company to the Governor, or as 
had been determined at the first meeting, the latter course was agreed to. The company 
then adjourned till the next (Wednesday) evening, when the organization was perfected 
by the adoption of a constitution and the election of the following officers : Alfred Reed, 
Captain; J. C. Brown, First Lieutenant; p. D. Dale, Second Lieutenant. Last night the 
company had another meeting and adopted by-laws for their government. We under- 
stand they are to be regularly uniformed and commence drilling in a few days. It is very 
desirable this organization, and as many more as can be set on foot, should be kept 
un. Such companies are greatly nee led to fit our men for service, and since the quota of 
volunteers called for by the President has been more than complied with, they pre- 
sent the only capacity left us through which to act wisely as soldiers for the defense 
of the Stars and Stripes. Let all who can possibly join, or help those who do patron- 
ize it. 

The First Sacrifice. — It was stated in this issue that, while Captain 


Milroy's company was en route for Indianapolis, a young man named 
John Brown, a grandson of Gen. Simon Kenton, and a resident of White 
County, who had been one of the very first to enlist, was accidentally 
killed by the cars at Clark's Hill. The corpse was brought back and 
buried near Miller Kenton's residence, three miles west of Monticello. 
This was the first sacrifice offered by the county for the suppression of the 
slave-holders' rebellion. In this issue were also interesting letters from 
two of the White County boys, who signed themselves "Jeems" and "W. 
S." They stated that all the boys from this county could not stay in Cap- 
tain Milroy's Company, which was full to overflowing, and that all the 
Monticello boys had been transferred to the company of Captain Charles 
Smith. The boys were reported in excellent spirits, their bill of fare 
being bread, meat, potatoes, and beans. This issue of the paper (April 
26th) contained the following : 


At a Union meeting, held at the school-house in Norway, April 24, 1861, R, L. Harvey 
was called to the chair, and .Tames A. McConahay elected Secretary. R. McConahay, F, 
G. Kendall, and William Orr were appointed a committee to draft, resolutions expressive 
of the sentiments of the meeting. A series often resolutions was adopted, two of them 
being as follows: 

Resolved, That we, the citizens of Norway, do most heartily respond to the call of the 
President for the purpose above specified, and no other (for enforcing the laws, not for 
conquest or invasion — Ed.); and we pledge him our support and countenance in the ex- 
ecution of all his constitutional duties. 

Resolved, Thar, as the patriotic ladies of our village have thi< day in onr presence 
hoisted the flag of our common country, we hei'eby pledge to them our lives, our fortunes 
and our sacred honor, that no foeman's hand shall drag it down if in our power to 
prevent him. 

Short and patriotic speeches were delivered by F. G. Kendall, Dr. R. Spencer, R. Mc- 
Conahay, A. Dike, Aaron Fleming, VV. H. Parcels and .James Graham. The meeting 
(hen adjourned to meet on the 4th of May, at early candle lighting, for the purpose of 
organizing a military company. All are invited to attend. 

R. L. Harvey, P/esident. 

James A. McConahay, Secretary. 

The citizens of Norway and vicinity had erected a huge ash polo, and 
a fine banner which had been made by the ladies was run up amid a storm 
of cheers from the assembled crowd. Afterward eloquent speeches were 
delivered by prominent citizens present. Much loyalty was manifested 
at Norway. James H. Douglass had three sons who enlisted at the first 
call to arms. Other men who went out in the three months' service, in 
addition to those already named, Avcre Abram Wickersham, John Kellen- 
barger, Mr. Snyder, John Arick and James Hess. 

In the issue of the Spectator., May 3d, it was stated that the company 
formed at Monticello (Monticello Rifles) held a meeting, and voted to 


offer its services to the State. This was done, and the company continued 
vigorously drilling, to be in readiness when called out. A large Union 
meeting was held at Hanna Station on the 25th of April. The principal 
speaker was Thomas Callahan, a "Douglas Democrat," who delivered a 
very long, eloquent address, reviewing the political situation, and urging 
upon all, wi4;hout regard to party lines or prejudices, the necessity of sup- 
porting the administration of Mr. Lincoln. At the conclusion of his 
speech three rousing cheers were given for the Union, and three more for 
the Stars and Stripes. Captain Herman, of the Union Home Guards, of 
Burnettsville, was present, and secured some twenty volunteers. Ladies 
were present, who fully appreciated the ominous state of affairs, and whose 
loyalty was as pronounced and emphatic as that of their husbands, brothers 
or sbns. The occasion was enlivened with splendid singing, and the 
stirring notes of fife and drum. On the 9th of May the Monticello Rifles 
learned that their services would not be required, and an order came from 
the Governor to forward immediately the guns in their possession. The 
members felt so indignant over the matter that they passed a series of 
resolutions regretting the non-acceptance of the company. Two of the 
resolutions were as follows: 

Resolved, That White County feels that her interest in the preservation of the Union 
and the honor of the Stars and Stripes is equal to that of any other county in the State 
or United States, and she should have the opportunity of manifesting it on the field 
of battle. 

Resolved, That we will still maintain our organization and keep alive the tendei of our 
services to the State at any time they may be required. 

Those resolutions were a true index to the determined loyalty prevail 
incf in the county. Here were men angry because their services could 
not be accepted, and in the face of a positive refusal to accept them they 
determined to maintain their organization in the hope that eventually 
they might be permitted to avenge the insult to the flag. It is no won- 
der that White County, with such men, became one of the fifteen coun- 
ties in the State to clear herself from the draft of October, 1862, by vol- 
untary enlistments. It is a pleasure to put the record of such a county 
in permanent form. And this state of things did not end as soon as 
the novelty of going to war had worn off. It continued unabated until 
Appomattox was reached, and the gallant armies came trooping home 
amid the plaudits of their fellow citizens and the glories of hard-earned 
victories on hundreds of bloody fields. 

Loyalty. — About this time the ministers of Monticello began to preach 
war sermons. Rev. William P. Koutz was the first, preaching from the 
subject, " The National Crisis, and Our Duties as Christians and Pa- 
triots." Others followed his example. It seems, also, that Monticello 


was just working itself into a fever of loyal enthusiasm, and was destined 
to have another revival of intense interest in war matters as was had 
when the news was received that Sumter had fallen, only on a larger 
scale. Handbills were published and circulated that a Union meeting 
would beheld at the court house Tuesday evening, May 14th. On that 
occasion Major Levi Reynolds was called to the chair, and Thomas D. 
Crow was made Secretary. The President announced that the object of 
the meeting was to take into consideration the state of the Union, and 
made an eloquent speech, deploring the fact that party lines were still 
drawn, and declaring that there should be but one party when the country, 
was in peril. Great enthusiasm prevailed, and the following gentlemen 
were called out and spoke amid loud acclamations and thundering cheers : 
R. W. Sill, W. A. Parry, G. O. Behm, Thomas Bushnell, D. M. Tilton, 
James Wallace and others. J. C. Brown moved that a committee of 
five be appointed to consider the propriety of organizing a vigilance 
committee at Monticello, which motion, after some discussion, was carried, 
whereupon the following persons were appointed such committee : James 
Wallace, J. C. Brown, A. Reed, Dr. W. S. Raymond and Zebulon 
Sheetz. The following resolution was then read, vociferously cheered, 
and passed with vigorous unanimity : 

Resolved unanimously hij the People of Mnntieello and vicinity now assembled in the court 
room to consider the state of the Union, That we send our fraternal greeting and the ex- 
pression of our warmest sympathies to our brethren now in the field engaged in main- 
taining the honor of our national standard and the integrity of our American Union ; 
and that we express ourselves as ready to follow the glorious example of our Revolution- 
ary fathers, and for the defense of the institutions they founded to "pledge our lives, 
our fortunes and our sacred honor." 

Thomas D. Crow, 
David Turpik. 

The First Aid to Soldiers. — Thomas Bushnell reported that a subscrip- 
tion was being raised to furuish the White County boys in the field with 
necessary blankets, oil-cloth capes, clothing, etc. This was the first 
movement in the county to aid the soldiers, and undoubtedly one of the 
very first in the State. The meeting for the organization of a vigilance 
committee was held, but a division as to the propriety of such a move- 
ment occurred, not owing to a lack of loyalty, but to quiet the fears of 
possible public disturbance at home, and as a precautionary measure 
against unforeseen disaster to society. Levi Reynolds, Thomas Bush- 
nell and T. D. Crow objected to the movement, while James Wallace, 
J. C. Brown and many others favored it. The mass of people present 
were so thoroughly in earnest, however, and determined to permit no oppor- 
tunity of general safety to pass unheeded, that the measure passed by a 


large majority in a standing vote. Scarcely anything was done, however, 
to carry out the measure, as new questions arose that required constant 
attention and energy. Another large war meeting was announced for 
Saturday night, May 18th, Judge Turpie being announced as principal 

The Spectator of May 17th, said : 

During the past week the citizens of Monticello have been doing a work of love and 
patriotism that will not only distinguish the place, but be a source of pleasant remem- 
brance in all time to come. The men and boys contributed money and material and the 
women and girls have been busily engaged in making shirts, blankets, cakes, etc., for 
the volunteers from this county now at Camp Morton. Some fifty flannel shirts and two 
boxes of nice provisions are the result of this labor, which were sent to Indianapolis 
yesterday morning. This donation will do an immense amount of good, not because the 
luxuries are greater than camp-life affords, nor the comforts needed, but because they 
are from the hands and hearts of dear friends who appreciate the sacrifices their noble 
sons are ofl'ering for the cause of freedom. 

It has been the pleasure of the writer of this chapter for several years 
past to critically review the military history of some twelve counties in 
Indiana and Ohio ; but in all such experience not a county was found to 
equal White in the intensity and activity of loyal work from the begin- 
ning to the end of the war. No act in the past can be pointed to with 
greater pride than this. Too great praise can not be given, in view of 
the obstacles overcome and the sacrifices made. 

Wai' Meetings. — On the 18th of May another rousing meeting was 
held at the court house with Levi Reynolds, President, Zebulon Sheets 
and D. D. Dale, Vice Presidents, and James Spencer and J. W. Mc- 
Ewen, Secretaries. W. S. Haymond